The euro – a currency without a state
Speech by Otmar Issing, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB
"After more than seven years, the euro is firmly established as the currency of over 300 million people. Its internal stability is evidenced by the fact that inflation has been steadily low from the very start, despite a sequence of negative price shocks (in particular a continuous surge in oil prices). As an international currency, the euro is second only to the US dollar.
Helsinki, 24 March 2006
At the same time, the euro represents a unique experience in history. On the one hand, it is based on a clear supranational monetary order, whereby the European Central Bank has full sovereignty in conducting a single monetary policy for the euro area. On the other hand, political union is still limited and sovereignty remains predominantly national in many policy areas. This asymmetry has raised questions about the sustainability of such an institutional arrangement since well before European Monetary Union started on 1 January 1999..."
"...The continuous challenge for Europe has been to find the right balance between political, economic and monetary integration. This has been called the “triangle” between the state (or States!), the market and the currency..."