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Issing, Otmar
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CFS Working Paper Series 521
[I. EMU, a Unique Experiment] The European Monetary Union (EMU) represents an unprecedented institutional arrangement. Never before in history have states, while maintaining their individual sovereignties, voluntarily renounced their national currencies in favour of a new common currency and ceded their authority over monetary policy to a supranational central bank. It can therefore be said that on January 1, 1999, when this new currency - the euro - was adopted, a bold experiment began, the outcome of which is still under debate 16 years later. This experiment has three dimensions - political, economic and monetary integration - which form the legs of a new and difficult “triangle” (Issing 2004). While the establishment of the European Central Bank (ECB) solved the monetary challenge on the institutional level, the problem of conducting a “one-size-fits-all” monetary policy continues to be a tremendous task due to economic divergences across the eurozone countries. [...]
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