This paper contributes to the on-going argument over European Monetary Union ( EMU ) including the costs and benefits of fall ining it. Advocates of EMU stressed that it is indispensable to make a stronger European Union with greater economic, political and societal coherence, whereas the oppositions did non back up this phase of the European Union ‘s building such as the United-Kingdom, Denmark and Sweden, reexamining the virtues of a individual currency ( OCA ) and the demands for a stable currency ( Convergence Criteria ) . ( Bernhard Winkler, 1996 ) Identify and discourse the costs and benefits of fall ining the Economic and Monetary Union ( EMU ) ? Do the benefits outweigh the costs?


Harmonizing to Francois Mitterrand, “EMU is seen as a mean to retrieve some influence over European pecuniary affairs.” ( Francois Mitterrand, 1992 ) The Gallic left wings president at clip wanted the outgrowth of the European Union against the US dollar which has been widely used as the yardstick measuring for all currencies.

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In Europe, the being of different national currencies was considered as the staying barriers for a barrier-free individual market and the influence of the dollar pressed the European Union ( EU ) to organize an Economic and Monetary Union ( EMU ) . The generation of the EMU with the initial impulse given by the Werner Report in 1970, so failed in 1973 with the oil crisis and eventually relaunched with the Delors Plan in 1989 and the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, was noteffortlessly. The EMU is a type of trade block affecting a individual market and a common currency. At the European graduated table, it involves a individual European market within its boundary lines and the acceptance of the Euro.

Economists normally refer to the EMU as an economic trade off between perceived benefits and cost of fall ining the country ( Thomas D. Willett, 2002 ) . There are diverging positions on the extent of these costs and benefits, and hence, particularly on the inquiry whether to fall in the EMU or non. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the cardinal issues environing the entry in the EMU, and balance positive and negative facets. The pros and cons sing the EMU require a careful analysis of the economic benefits and drawbacks at both national and company degree.

  1. Argument environing the Electromagnetic unit
  2. There are many benefits that a state will hold by come ining EMU. Recently, the euro has gained a batch of influence since many European states have adopted it. Indeed, the benefits of EMU addition and costs lessening as the degree of integrating intensifies. ( Krugman, 1990 ) The turning importance of the euro in international trades and the increasing trade activities which result from following the currency clearly shows that benefits will outweigh costs. For a state international trades are cardinal in order to hold a stronger economic system.

    Therefore, the “antis-EMU” advocator that the procedure will submerse the individualism of the European states in an “unwieldy federation, hobbled by bureaucratism, commanding small popular support and enforcing a disabling load of regulative and other costs on Europe ‘s economies” ( David Currie, 1997, pp.14 ) They believe that an organized Europe will hold a negative impact for most member provinces as it will besides “reduce the volume of trade and would surely increase the degree of unemployment” ( Martin Feldstein, February 20, 2008 ) .

    In order to fall in the EMU, a state must match to the Maastricht Convergence Criteria: monetary value stableness, sustainable public fundss, exchange rate stableness and lasting convergence. The term “convergence” refers to the procedure of uniting technological and non-rival spheres, fixing late states in footings of construction and establishments to fit with those at the head. One of the first obvious benefits is that the execution of those standards represents a factor of macroeconomic stabilization and sustainable economic growing for both EMU states and future members. However, the convergence demands are besides a clear illustration of struggle because they are considered as missing economic principle and enforcing unneeded hurting. Many economic experts have attacked the convergence standards, responsible of arousing instability and functioning no other purpose except to detain. ( De Grauwe, 1993 ) The convergence standards and EMU itself seek to guard against “unsustainable budgetary policies in a member state” because these are seen to take to either “default or debt monetisation” which would “be a major menace to the overall pecuniary stability” ( European Economy, 1990:100 )

    Furthermore, the convergence standards make clear that financial subject is defined as the turning away of an unsustainable build-up of public debt ( Emerson, 1992, pp.107 ) and the passage to EMU for a state will magnify the domestic effectivity of national financial policy for stabilization intents. ( Emerson, 1992, pp.115 )

  3. Benefits and costs of fall ining the EMU
  4. Our purpose is to understand the inducements of the participants in the EMU, and a natural starting point is to measure economic costs and benefits of a individual currency for a state similar France as an illustration. More or less, there are microeconomic benefits versus macroeconomic costs.

    a ) Transaction costs and stable environment

    One of the most obvious benefits is the ensuing easiness of minutess across the European Union. States are utilizing one currency and as a affair of fact, the riddance of exchange rate fluctuation helped to extinguish dealing costs in intra-EU trade. Firms and concern are both salvaging clip and money. For illustration, an estimated $ 30 billion [ 1 ] a twelvemonth is spent on foreign exchange minutess. The minutess involve the alteration from one currency to another but besides from accounting systems. Additionally, fall ining the EMU eliminates the possibility of exchange-rate fluctuation with the EMU zone. If exchange rates move irregularly and unsystematically in response to arbitrary guess, exchange volatility imposes a macroeconomic cost ( David Currie, 1997 ) . Therefore, its riddance represents a existent advantage as it provides a more stable environment for trade within the euro zone by take downing hazards and uncertainnesss as the economic system is more flexible and resources more nomadic.

    B ) Monetary policy and the European Central Bank

    Despite impacting a cardinal facet of a state ‘s sovereignty, member-states must abandon pecuniary policy. Additionally, members are deprived from gross of seigniorage which is the net gross derived from the issue of currency. This loss chiefly affects high-inflation rate states such as Greece or Spain for illustration. Monetary policy is non any longer at the national degree but depends on a supranational authorization, the European Central Bank, headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. Established in 1998, the ECB is responsible for pecuniary policy covering the 16 member States of the Euro zone. Allowing pecuniary control to the ECB means that National authoritiess are giving pecuniary policy instrument such as modulating exchange rate and involvement rate, and this is likely to affect a cost. This cost will happen during recession or inflationary roar, when a state will be unable to raise or lower involvement rates independently of other states within the EMU.

    degree Celsius ) Fiscal power of member-states

    Joining EMU badly limits the financial power of member-states. While they maintain formal duty for financial policy, member-states will hold to demo financial uprightness to avoid punishment. Convergence standards require states to cut down their debt which produced a ‘squeeze consequence ‘ ( Gartner, 1997 ) for states with loose financial policy. Indeed, financial policy remains the lone macro-economic tool that is available to authoritiess. At the same clip, the brotherhood has the power of coordination and surveillance, and the ability to urge alterations of financial policy and to use countenances against authoritiess that have no taken the recommended stairss.

    vitamin D ) A individual currency and its consequence on public support

    As we already mentioned earlier, a member-state fall ining the EMU will hold to follow a common currency: the euro. Despite the fact that the acceptance of the euro will clearly impact the state ‘s sovereignty, some people ‘feel closer to other states ‘ ( European Commission, 2002 ) which can convey Europeans together and construct a impression of European individuality. Therefore, the acceptance of a common currency can ensue in sabotaging a state ‘s individuality. Currencies such as the “Francs” or the “Deutsch Mark” have symbolized economic prosperity, particularly due to the fact that people trusted them. Furthermore, the “Franc” was the Gallic national currency since 1795 and has remained for two hundred and four old ages. The Deutsch Mark had the repute as one of the universe ‘s most stable currencies. For a state like France or Germany, the alteration of their currencies was a memorable measure.

    Furthermore, an obvious economic effect is the impact on the buying power. For illustration, in France the switch from “Francs” to the “Euros” had a major consequence on the Gallic buying power. Twenty euro is the equivalent of about a 120Francs and this was perceived as a big sum of money in footings of buying power before the debut of the new currency. While the acceptance of the euro was meant to convey stableness over the long-run, a survey has been conducted demoing that monetary value rises were apparent in the service sector such as eating houses, cafes, hairstylists and recreational and clean services. ( Eurostat, 2003 ) However, Gallic consumers have noticed a alteration in the cost of life. Additionally, following a new currency is non ever the easiest thing to make.

    vitamin E ) Effects on houses and concerns

    Another benefit is the addition in attractive chances for foreign investors and these effects are unevenly dispersed across houses and concerns. Therefore, larger houses will profit more from EMU. For illustration, strong domestic endeavors will profit from a greater grade of internationalization of their markets. It will be particularly helpful to little and average sized endeavors which may non be able to harvest ample economic systems of graduated table. Nevertheless, houses and concerns will be the first to see the negative effects from fall ining the EMU. For illustration, travel agents and Bankss that are losing committee on currency exchanges and European currency bargainers will no longer be able to exercise this concern. Furthermore, the individual currency may take to the “Europeanising” ( Brown, B.2004, pp. 57-60. ) of labor markets within the EMU zone. Consequently, it would be much easier to compare rewards across the zone, particularly in sectors where trade brotherhoods wield dickering power. This will take to an addition of rewards and could breed major job to companies outsourcing in low rewards states such as in Eastern Europe. The individual currency will take merely the elements of labour-market flexibleness.

    degree Fahrenheit ) Price transparence and monetary value convergence

    However, fall ining the EMU will further competition as there is greater monetary value transparence across states. Indeed, a individual currency makes easier to demo how monetary values differ between states. It has been found that “the monetary values of goods differ well in different states and continents due to the differences in currency.” ( McCallum, 1995, pp24-25 ) As an illustration, before EMU, a client life in France was able to purchase a high value-added auto cheaper when traveling in Germany. Hence, this leads to take down monetary values in the short to medium tally because consumers can purchase from the cheapest beginning and therefore, thrust monetary values down as companies are running under force per unit area. Indeed, “The formation of the euro zone and the SM of about 300 million consumers will necessarily sharpen competitory force per unit areas throughout Europe” . ( Spanos et Al. , Greek, pp.638 ) The subsequent sweetening of competition will increase economic efficiency and should do monetary value convergence. ( Spanos et Al. , Greek, pp.639 ) Consequently, the EMU provides information to its members and therefore, enables them to do wiser determinations.

    g ) “One fit all” policy job:

    Furthermore, other jobs of fall ining the European Economic and Monetary Union will happen in the medium to long term. Indeed, the concern is that whether the provinces are sufficiently similar for them to co-exist with a common currency. For illustration, non all provinces are at the same phase of the trade rhythm which represents a periodic fluctuation in the rate of economic activity as measured by degrees of monetary values, production and employment. As an illustration, the UK is the universe ‘s 4th largest economic system and the 2nd largest in the EU. The City of London represents Europe ‘s major European fiscal Centre. The instance of the UK has specific statements: the UK has a lower degree of intra-EU trade, one of the highest per centums of place proprietors and is affected otherwise by oil monetary value motions due to different agreements. It is so weaker and more vulnerable to external dazes which are unexpected dazes that do non impact every state every bit. ( D. Johnson, C. Turner, 2nd edition, p180-183 ) Hence, if the UK joins the euro, they will hold to increase their exchange hazards because the euro is turning around the dollar. The lb for illustration is impersonal compared to the dollar and the euro. Consequently, the wrongness of one pecuniary policy for so many provinces is a major cost of fall ining the EMU. The instance against the UK ‘s entry in EMU depends besides on other factors such as the recession the state is undergoing and the influence of the United-States.

  5. Benefits outweigh the costs?
  6. The instance of Greece is a good illustration to demo how benefits can outweigh the costs. Indeed, Greece has late entered the EMU and therefore, represents a good illustration for a figure of campaigners. Hence, it is an illustration of an economic system in passage that has made a batch of advancement in order to carry through the macroeconomic convergence. A survey of Grecian houses has been conducted by Spanos ( Business scheme analyst at Athens University ) which helps to understand how houses react when come ining the EMU and found that taking Grecian houses “appear to the full cognizant of the dramatic alterations they will hold to turn to in the close hereafter… In line with recent empirical grounds, the findings presented here are promoting in that they suggest a strong acquisition consequence that has presumptively led Grecian direction towards convergence.” ( Spanos et Al, pp.646 ) We understand that both EU rank and the view of viing in the EMU have acted as major accelerators. In short, the EMU has contributed toward the development of western-type of direction manner. Additionally, Grecian houses have new challenges to get the better of and this requires new competitory schemes, organisational constructions, and direction procedures. Consequently, Greek house ‘s scheme has shifted toward offer better quality merchandises and services, and a tighter cost control.

Trade theories are illustrations of why benefits outweigh costs. ( Aiginger, K. et Al, 1999, pp.3 ) The traditional theory was described by Ricardo in 1817 ; a state can accomplish a “comparative advantage” ensuing from differences in productiveness or gifts between states and parts. Consequently, trade liberalisation and economic integrating will ensue in production re-location and increasing specialisation harmonizing to comparative advantages.

Additionally, Mundell ( 1961 ) McKinnon ( 1963 ) and Kenen ( 1969 ) identified the grounds why a state should or should non come in a pecuniary brotherhood. If for every member-state benefits outweigh costs so the currency country is optimum. An “optimum currency area” ( OCA ) considers the premiss that “when an external daze hits the economic system, it is easier to set the exchange rate instead than domestic monetary values or wages.” ( A. Belke and D. Gros, ( 1997 ) . pp. 3/50 ) Indeed, this attack assesses what a state loses by giving up the exchange rate as an accommodation instrument.


To reason, harmonizing to Martin Feldstein, EMU is seen by France as an chance to be a “co-manager” of Europe as an equal of Germany. Furthermore, it has been assumed that economic integrating among the European states will take to convergence while cut downing asymmetric dazes. However, classical theories assess that integrating consequences in more specialisation due to comparative advantage. Hence, nucleus economic systems ( France and Germany ) may profit at the disbursal of less efficient economic systems such as Eastern member-states. Furthermore, with a Single Market, houses will hold to spread out in size in order to vie. Such big houses are largely located in nucleus economic systems of the EU. However, Greece instance survey showed that EMU has contributed to the development of houses by offering higher quality merchandises and services. We can so reason that if a state joins EMU, benefits will clearly outweigh costs.


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