Futurs d'antan, Futuribles Journal n° 382

Économie, emploi - Géopolitique - Institutions

Crisis in the Eurozone: The Contemporary Relevance of the Werner Plan of 1970 (Future of Yesteryear)

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For some months now, the European Union has been facing an economic and financial crisis in which the challenge to the member states has been to find the means to bolster the economic governance of the eurozone. If they fail to do so, the monetary union that has been in existence for some 10 years might hit the buffers. There have been ever more European summits and Franco-German meetings aimed at finding a way out of the Greek crisis and, more generally, a solution to the general destabilization of the European financial system, but ultimately, as Frédéric Allemand shows here, they are hardly proposing anything more than was advocated in the Werner Report of 1970. That report had, in fact, drawn up a particularly far-sighted “plan for achieving economic and monetary union by stages.” However, for want of genuine political support at the time, it was not carried through.

Economic and monetary union was, indeed, established by the Maastricht Treaty in the 1990s, but the union provided was of a minimal kind and did not follow the recommendations proposed by the Werner Report, of which Frédéric Allemand reminds us here. As a result, monetary integration was implemented without economic integration, and particularly without the establishment of a “decision-making centre for economic policy” that would be responsible to the European Parliament and enforce strict control of national budgetary policies. Now that the facts have cruelly shown up the failings that ensued from the omission of such a central structure, perhaps Europe’s leaders will at last get back to fundamentals and, wittingly or otherwise, see through the various stages of the Werner Plan…

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