The Euro - Currency for Europe
Striking A Balance Of The Single Currency
Berlin, Jan. 13, 2012
Editor: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.
The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) lies at the heart of European integration. The EMU, with the euro as the single currency for 11 EU nations, was launched in 1999. The introduction of the euro then followed on in two stages.
First of all, the new European currency was established within the financial markets and monetary policy in non-physical form, so Europe can celebrate the euro’s 13th birthday at the start of 2012. However, if we trace the birth of the euro back to 2002, when it was first introduced in physical form, then we have only reached its 10th anniversary. The euro only became a tangible part of the lives of European citizens once the coins and notes were introduced. For politics and business, on the other hand, the start date of 1999 was critical in making the right preparations for the major project of European integration.
The euro’s short history can be broken down into two stages: a ten-year period of plain sailing up to 2009, followed by a stormy period when it faced great challenges and dangers and an uncertain future. At the time of its 10th birthday at the beginning of 2009, the euro was widely acclaimed a success 2, but since the eruption of the sovereign debt crisis in early 2010, the dark clouds have been gathering over many eurozone countries. When assessing the state of the still-youthful euro, it is necessary to take into account not only the positive developments but also its disappointments and serious shortcomings.
Firstly, the previous situation of the euro will be analysed using certain criteria. Then the debt crisis situation will be investigated and the policy decisions made to deal with it in 2011 will be evaluated, along with the future structure of the EMU. Finally, future opportunities and risks will be examined in light of the debt crisis.
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