|Abstract: ||The last important stage of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU; introduced on
the basis of Treaty of Maastricht) began on January 1st 2002. In 12 member countries
of the EU euro coins and notes were introduced to common circulation and soon replaced
The introduction of Economic and Monetary Union is considered to be the most
ambitious venture in the process of European integration and it is one of the most important
events at the turn of the 20th and 21st century. 12 countries decided to abandon
their national currencies and accept one common currency - euro which united the
economies of the majority of countries of the Western Europe. Moreover, since the beginning
of 2007 so called Euroland numbered 13 countries and Slovenia as the first
of the countries which entered UE in the year 2004 entered to Economic and Monetary
Union. It is almost certain that the number of member countries of the EMU will
increase in the future - the potential candidates to the participation in European monetary
union are: Great Britain, Sweden and Denmark which do not participate in this
venture and other new UE member countries from Central and Eastern Europe including
It may seem that Economic and Monetary Union is strictly an economic venture
entailing mostly economic effects. Yet, among economic motifs and implications of establishing
Economic and Monetary Union there are also motifs and implications of
political nature, all of which constitute the thesis of the following study. In the whole
process of integration which resulted in the introduction of the Economic and Monetary
Union, starting form its origins, the political and economic aspects are inseparably
connected. That is why the aim of the following study is to identify and analyse
of the political implications of the introduction of monetary union by the EU countries.
Economic and Monetary Union entails (or may entail) consequences of the political
nature, being situated on the verge of politics and economics or economy but directly
influencing the politics.
The study consists of the introduction, six chapters, conclusion and bibliography.
The first chapter emphasises the relationships between politics and economy and
especially between the political and economic aspects of international integration. The
author has presented opinions indicating a close relationship between these two fields.
Special attention has been paid to opinions which emphasize the interconnection between
political and economic aspects in reference to process of the integration of the
West European countries initiated and continued after the WWII and especially the
introduction of the Economic and Monetary Union. Second chapter consists of a review of the definitions of key words functioning in
the literature such as: integration, economic integration, currency integration and monetary
union. It also shows the most important historical examples of monetary
unions and monetary unions functioning at the moment. Special attention is paid to
political aspect of these unions and to the importance of political factors to their stability.
From that point of view and from the point of view of this study the most important
issue are the divisions of monetary unions into the ones accepted between independent
countries remaining separate and so called national monetary unions whose
existence is connected with political unification.
The third chapter presents the steps taken by the EU countries to enter Economic
and Monetary Union. This venture cannot be analysed without the reference to a
wider context that is why first the origins of the West European process of integration
after WWII and its beginnings are outlined and then the events which led to the introduction
of Economic and Monetary Union: the beginnings of the process of currency
cooperation of West European countries, suggestions and plans of introducing monetary
union put forward at the turn of the 60ties and 70ties of the 20th century, principles
of the European Monetary System, the importance of European Currency Unit
for the possibilities of introducing Economic and Monetary Union, the conditions of
participation in the third stage and the rulings of so called Stability and Growth Pact.
Political implication of Economic and Monetary Union were presented in fourth,
fifth and sixth chapters. Chapter four consists of the analysis of the political implication
of the membership in Economic and Monetary Union for nation-states. First of
all how the membership of a country in Economic and Monetary Union relates to the
comprehension of the concept of sovereignty functioning in the literature. The influence
of country’s membership in monetary union on the independence of the policy of a given
country constitutes a development and supplement of the author’s considerations.
The author also attempted to place the membership in Economic and Monetary Union
in a group of phenomena and processes of a wider character which influence the position,
role and the range of the functions realised by modern nation-state (the process
of integration within the UE and also about e.g. globalization, the increase of number
and importance of non-member states in international relationships or the decentralization
processes) and the issue of development and integration of Economic and
Monetary Union in the view of so called German issue, namely about the emphasis
of the importance of the unification of Germany in 1990 to the reaching the Treaty of
Maastricht and the introduction of Economic and Monetary Union.
The fifth chapter constitutes the attempt to present ways in which the Economic
and Monetary Union can constitute to the development of the integration of EU countries
at the political level or even extract it. We also present functioning definitions
of political integration, factors which can determine the need (necessity?) of political
integration — functionalism and neofunctionalism, federalism, confederalism and the
transactional approach, the analysis of the institutional aspects of Economic and Monetary
Union and the development of the signalled issue concerning legitimization of
the European Central Bank and its political responsibility.
Finally, in the sixth chapter the author presents relationships between the system
of powers in the global dimension, the structure of the international currency system,
the political aspect concerning the way the system influenced the introduction of
the Economic and Monetary Union as well as introduction of euro currency.|