History of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)

The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) represents a major step in the integration of all member states of the European Union economies. It involves the coordination of economic and fiscal policies, a common monetary policy, and a common currency: the euro. Currently all 28 EU Member States take part in the economic union, while only a select number have adopted the euro. The Member States that have adopted the euro are part of the Euro Area.

The initial idea for the EMU was instigated by Gustav Stresemann (German foreign minister).  In 1929, Gustav Stresemann asked for a European currency due to the increased economic division, which developed from a number of new nation states in Europe after World War I.

There were three political attempts to create the EMU before its success in 1999:

  • The first attempt (1969): Den Haag summit and Werner Report (historical documentation)

  • The second attempt  (1979): The European Monetary System and the ECU (historical documentation)

  • The third attempt   (1989): The Single European Act and the "Delors Report" (historical documentation)

  • The start of EMU and the Euro (1999), which was implemented through 3 stages


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