'Economic and Monetary Union: origins, workings and future prospects' project

General presentation

Monetary questions did not feature prominently in the original Community treaties. It was not until the second half of the 1960s, with the twofold effect of the collapse of the International Monetary System and the introduction of the first common policies, that the question of European monetary unification began to be feature in debates. An initial attempt spearheaded by Pierre Werner in the early 1970s failed. With the prospect of the completion of the internal market by 1992, efforts to establish fairer monetary conditions in Europe and a favourable economic context, the second attempt — initiated by the Hanover European Council in June 1988 and developed by a committee of experts chaired by Jacques Delors — was successfully enshrined in the Maastricht Treaty. On 1 January 1999, the European Union adopted a single monetary and exchange rate policy, and the euro became the only legal tender in 11 Member States. Since then, the euro has been adopted by six other Member States. The Member States retain their budgetary autonomy subject to an obligation of coordination and compliance with disciplinary principles. Economic policy coordination is gradually being developed and implemented. Since 2007, the unfolding financial crisis and subsequent sovereign debt crisis have required the Member States to step up economic policy coordination and create entirely new mechanisms, such as a financial stability mechanism, and have led to rare interventions by the European Central Bank.

In light of these recent, complex transformations, the CVCE has decided to publish a subject file on Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Adopting an institutional, long-term approach, this file will analyse the drafting and implementation of the provisions under Title VIII, ‘Economic and Monetary Policy' (Articles 119 to 144 TFEU), of the third part of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, as well as other provisions relating to EMU (for example Articles 3(4) and 13 TEU, Articles 2(3), 3(1), 5, 219 and 282 to 284 TFEU) and the protocols, statutes and declarations on EMU annexed to the treaties. Other texts that have been drawn up to facilitate the smooth operation of EMU but which are not strictly part of the Community legal order will also be presented and analysed: the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism. Various arrangements that are outside the framework of Community integration but remain linked to it (such as the European Payments Union and the European Monetary Agreement) will also be covered.

Project manager: Frédéric Allemand (frederic [point] allemand [at] cvce [point] eu)