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Progress to EMU has been too rash and hasty

Uploaded by Laurence Allen on Feb 05, 2002

Despite the healthy support given to EMU by the likes of Helmut Köhl, Jaques Delors and François Mittererand, there are some arguments that progress towards EMU has been too rash and hasty for it to be successful.

Firstly, there are several political factors that support this notion.

Public support for EMU is insufficient not only in Britain and the countries outside of the Euro but even in the Eurozone countries themselves. There is significant opposition to the single currency (taken as about 40% of the population) in over half of the Eurozone’s countries that make it up. Likewise, the populations of most European countries are not happy to lose their national currencies, as national currencies are unquestionably signs of sovereignty. For example, the Germans see their Deutschmark as the most powerful national symbol of post-war Germany, partly explaining why they are so hesitant to give it up. The majority of Europeans are also adamant that the European Central Bank is not sufficiently accountable, and moreover, the necessary democratic structures are not in place throughout the institutions of the EU. The ECB cannot be influenced or checked upon by anyone other than the subcommittee of the European Parliament. This inefficient body lacks the resources to hold the ECB or its president - Wim Duisenburg - to account. The Council of Ministers is almost always allowed to make decisions without even referring them to the electorates, and overall, European citizens are very rarely included in the decision-making processes. Therefore, it is not surprising that most European citizens feel out of touch with the powers by which they are (or will be) ultimately governed. This is furthered by the argument that EMU is simply driven by the political dream of a small elite. This idea is easy to agree with, particularly when examining the social composition of those in support of EMU. More businesspersons, financiers and distinguished entrepreneurs in general support EMU than average citizens of the EU, of which there are far more. As a whole, political union seems insufficient to support further economic union.

However, it can be argued that political union has advanced sufficiently to allow economic union to be a success. The Single European Act of 1986 certainly made EMU more likely, adding further impetus towards economic union. It removed physical, fiscal, and technical barriers between EU countries to complete the Single Market and revealed that exchange rate fluctuations were also an...

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Uploaded by:   Laurence Allen

Date:   02/05/2002

Category:   Politics

Length:   5 pages (1,215 words)

Views:   1500

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