A Europe Made of Money
The Emergence of the European Monetary System
Publication Year: 2012
A Europe Made of Money is a new history of the making of the European Monetary System (EMS), based on extensive archive research. Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol highlights two long-term processes in the monetary and economic negotiations in the decade leading up to the founding of the EMS in 1979. The first is a transnational learning process involving a powerful, networked European monetary elite that shaped a habit of cooperation among technocrats. The second stresses the importance of the European Council, which held regular meetings between heads of government beginning in 1974, giving EEC legitimacy to monetary initiatives that had previously involved semisecret and bilateral negotiations. The interaction of these two features changed the EMS from a fairly trivial piece of administrative business to a tremendously important political agreement.
The inception of the EMS was greeted as one of the landmark achievements of regional cooperation, a major leap forward in the creation of a unified Europe. Yet Mourlon-Druol's account stresses that the EMS is much more than a success story of financial cooperation. The technical suggestions made by its architects reveal how state elites conceptualized the larger project of integration. And their monetary policy became a marker for the conception of European identity. The unveiling of the EMS, Mourlon-Druol concludes, represented the convergence of material interests and symbolic, identity-based concerns.
Published by: Cornell University Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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List of Abbreviations
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Introduction: Multilevel Governance, History, and Monetary Cooperation
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Since the Werner Plan a dozen years ago and since the days of the snake, since the founding of the EMS in particular, different bodies etary cooperation. This work resembles a hidden treasure: all the papers are written by monetary experts and for the use of monetary experts; they therefore hardly ever have reached the attention of the ...
1. European Monetary Cooperation, 1945–1974: Background and Debates
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If the international monetary system was itself based on fixed ex-change rates and on currency convertibility, the problem would have been much less acute. You know that there has been a historical coincidence between the progressive organization of economic and monetary union in Europe and the progressive dislocation of the inter-...
2. Shifting Away from the Werner Approach, May 1974–May 1975
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Until 1975, the European Community, which was nearing its twenti-The agreement that the heads of government meet regularly in the future, but in particular the idea, which has now settled in the heads of nine governments, of the necessity for parallel, better articulated, complementary orientations of their respective economic policies, ...
3. EMU off the Agenda? June 1975–June 1976
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When in 1976 France left for the second time, it was clear to us that it was hardly likely that it would decide to join the “snake” again for a third time. It was in the air that, for this to occur, something else Why and how did economic divergences induce only the partial disappearance of monetary cooperation from the European Community’s agenda between ...
4. Economic Rapprochement, Monetary Standstill, July 1976–June 1977
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Keynes’s methods worked in the 1930s; they don’t today, and there In this chapter I analyze the paradoxical double turnaround in mid-1976: the im-provement of economic convergence among EEC member states but the relative standstill in European monetary cooperation. I cover the period starting with the decision of the newly appointed French government to follow a strong anti- ...
5. Conflicting Options, July 1977–March 1978
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What has actually changed? What’s changed essentially is (a) the newly emerged stability-consciousness in Rome, above all things in Paris, and the will. One of the most important preconditions. And another thing (b) has naturally changed, that the American benign neglect, concerning the dollar balance of payments, in the meantime ...
6. A Semisecret Negotiation, Late March–Mid-July 1978
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...[Ken] Couzens looked rather pole-axed and kept on repeating, “But it is very bold, Prime Minister. Did the Chancellor [Schmidt] really go as far as that? It is very bold. It leaves the dollar on one side. I don’t know what the Americans will say about it. It’s very bold, Prime Minis-ter.” After about twenty-five minutes of this, we went back to the Royal ...
7. Chasing the Ghosts of Failed Negotiations, Mid-July–Late September 1978
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For a happy few Eurofanatics and Europhobes this [the EMS] is a clear-cut issue on which we can and must stand up and be counted. For most of those who are neither Eurofanatic nor Europhobe, how-ever, and who have taken the trouble to study the matter, it is a hideously complex and awkward issue, both economically and (more ...
8. A False Start, October 1978–March 1979
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JENKINS: If we had to drop this scheme, this would be very serious. JENKINS: Short-term hero at the expense of long-term reputation. The nature of the EMS, and singularly its originality in comparison with the current snake, will notably depend on the interpretation that will be given to the presumption of action resulting from the function-...
Conclusions: The Emergence of a European Bloc
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The salient feature of this enterprise [the EMS] . . . is no doubt the exchange rate system of fixed but adjustable parities. All the rest are flanking measures to support and embellish this exchange rate sys-tem. It is quite remarkable that exchange rate policy is the chosen in-strument for a political demonstration of European unity and stability. ...
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This book could not have been written without the help of many people and institutions. My first thanks go to Harold James, who kindly and constantly sup-ported and advised me over the past few years. I also benefited from discussions with many colleagues, at different stages of my project and in different man-ners: Robert Boyce, Éric Bussière, Philippe Buton, Benoît Challand, Ken Endo, ...
A Note on Sources Cited in the Notes
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Most of the documents consulted are publicly accessible. Only a few required application for a derogation (Giscard papers, Banca d’Italia, Helmut- Schmidt-Archiv). Given that the period studied is very close to the thirty-year rule applied in most European archives, some of the references given are to a...
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... Archives du Ministère des Affaires étrangères, La Courneuve (AMAE). Direction Eu-rope/Coopération Économique (DE/CE); Direction des Affaires économiques et Archives historiques de la Banque de France, Paris (BdF). Procès-verbaux du Conseil général (PVCG); Direction générale des Services étrangers, Service des Relations européennes, Sous-fonds Communauté européenne—Union européenne (Cote ...
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Page Count: 368
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Cornell studies in money