Europe is integrating around money. In spite of the sometimes agonizing difficulties in moving forward, and often low levels of recorded public approval, the process leading to full monetary union has remained strong. The Maastricht Treaty was signed and ratified, entailing a major sacrifice of sovereignty of the participating states to the European level. Then in early 1999 eleven EU states formally established a common currency—the euro—against which their own currencies were irrevocably fixed. In spite of powerful negative forces and momentous external events in the approach to the introduction of the euro the will of the states to remain committed to the project held strong. By mid-2002 euro notes and coins in full circulation will end the transition by having all transactions take place in the new currency.
KeywordsMonetary Policy European Central Bank Monetary Union Single Market Common Currency
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