Table of Contents

The Economic Potential of a Larger Europe

The Economic Potential of a Larger Europe

Edited by Klaus Liebscher, Josef Christl, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald

The Economic Potential of a Larger Europe gives insights into past, present and future issues related to the ongoing EU enlargement process. Providing a unique forum for debate and a multiplicity of views and experiences from both high-profile academics and those who engage with enlargement on an implementation level, this book covers a wide range of topics that are key to a successful transition and integration process and thus to the provision of a prosperous growth environment within a larger Europe. Special attention is paid to monetary integration, notably entry into ERM II, on which representatives of the national central banks involved present their views.

Chapter 14: EU enlargement and monetary integration - the next steps: ERM II and beyond

Peter Mooslechner


14. EU enlargement and monetary integration – the next steps: ERM II and beyond Peter Mooslechner Monetary integration has been one of the main dimensions of European economic integration since World War II. Initial ideas and attempts to establish closer monetary cooperation were emerging in the 1960s, if not before. As early as in 1971 the Werner plan – based on political decisions agreed on in The Hague in 1969 – presented a detailed proposal for a monetary union, including the final step of a common currency for Europe. The basic vision of working towards a monetary union in Europe was the idea to create a zone of monetary stability and, most of all, exchange rate stability. In particular following the break-down of the Bretton Woods system in the early 1970s the question of how to cope with the challenges of international monetary and financial instability led to a number of important European initiatives, although they turned out to be mainly short-lived in the end: the ‘snake’ and the creation of a European Monetary System (EMS) in 1979 are two examples in this respect. In the end, the repeated attempts to establish a monetary framework in Europe as a prerequisite for further economic and political integration developed into a system of several European countries following an exchange rate peg strategy vis-à-vis the Deutsche mark. Given its rather high degree of openness and given the importance of Germany as its by far most important trading partner, Austria – even though not a member of...

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