European Monetary Union

Essay by gigga December 2006

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1 Why are the Europeans so intent on Economic Integra-tion?

1.1 Economic Integration

Already while the Second World War 44 nations signed the contract of Bratton Woods, which should guarantee a stable currency system with fixed exchange rate. Later the "Werner Group", which was a group of experts and led by the Luxembour-gian Prime Minister Pierre Werner, had the idea of a European currency. However the idea was too early. First the contract of Bratton Woods had to get in trouble in order to make something going on.

Since the collapse of Bratton Woods in 1971, the gap between normal states and economic powers grew always faster and faster. Soon the first countries crystallized from the rest, which would be the economic superpowers. Since none of the Euro-pean countries was big enough to keep up with economic powers like the United States in a long term view, unity between the different states of Europe became more and more important.

If Europe wanted to show that it could be an independent global player, it had to bundle up its forces.

In order not to get addicted of any other economic power, it primarily was important that the different states started to strengthen themselves by increasing their interstate trade, within the region of Europe. As a consequence Europe was able to appear as a strong and independent player on the world market. Moreover there was the idea to support the economic growth based on the element of division of labour. In the fore-ground there is the theory of comparative cost advantages of David Ricardo. Each country produces the products where it has the lowest costs and exchanges it with other products of other countries (Hammerschmidt, Kort,1999).

If the different states are economically well integrated, customs between member states can be removed, and...