The launch of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the creation of the euro were among the most significant milestones in European integration. For the euro area countries, EMU combines a single monetary policy with decentralised responsibility for the majority of their economic policies, although national budgetary strategies remain subject to some constraints.
The international financial and economic crisis that started in 2008 exposed the structural limitations and contradictions in EMU, which contributed to the accumulation of macroeconomic imbalances and left some EU countries more economically stable than others. Since then, the European Central Bank (ECB) has introduced a series of unconventional monetary policy measures, while the other European institutions and the Member States have embarked on initiatives to build a Banking Union and to strengthen economic and budgetary coordination, particularly in the euro area.
This rebalancing process is still ongoing. Discussions on the appropriate macroeconomic and monetary policies, the tools and institutions needed for their implementation, as well as the status of countries outside the euro area, continue to be very intense.
The EESC on EMU
The EESC believes that a single currency can only be sustainable in the context of strong, balanced and inclusive growth ensured by more public and private investment, upward economic convergence between the euro area countries and better overall competitiveness. These objectives require both economic and political commitment at EU level. In this respect, measures to deepen and complete EMU are crucially important to the future of the EU as a whole.