The Origins of Monetary Union

  • Malcolm Crawford


The history of the movement toward EMU can be traced back almost as far as the EC itself. Although the Treaty of Rome did not provide for monetary union, it did require economic policy co-ordination.1 The EC Commission felt obliged, at least in its first two decades, to confine any work on the monetary field to what was warranted under those articles, and Article 104 on the balance of payments. Informal discussions in the mid-1960s paved the way for studies and lobbying of governments by the Commission on a start to monetary unification from 1968, and this in turn led to the presentation of the Barre Plan, in February 1969, to the Council of Ministers. The main thrust of this was a proposal to establish co-ordination of economic policies, and to secure the provision of automatic and unconditional credits to sustain fixed exchange rates within the EC. These proposals, along with the possible creation of a European Reserve Fund, were discussed at a summit meeting at The Hague, in December 1969.


Exchange Rate Central Bank Monetary Union European Monetary Union European Monetary System 
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  1. 2.
    See Peter Coffey and John Presley, European Monetary Integration ( London: Macmillan, 1971 ).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 3.
    Herbert Christie and Michelle Fratianni, ‘EMU: Rehabilitation of a Case and Some Thoughts for Strategy’, in M. Fratianni and T. Peeters (eds), One Money For Europe ( London: Macmillan, 1978 ).Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    M. J. Artis, ‘The UK and the EMS’, in de Grauwe and L. Papademos (eds), The European Monetary System in the 1990s ( London: Longmans, 1990 ).Google Scholar

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© Malcolm Crawford 1996

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  • Malcolm Crawford

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