Speech by Wim Duisenberg, President of the European Monetary Institute, at the conference "The euro and the European innovative industry" in Toulouse, France, on 17 October 1997
Stage Three of Monetary Union is little more than 14 months away. Preparations for this historic project are underway. As far as the EMI is concerned, the operational framework for the ESCB's monetary policy has been defined and specified; we have entered the stage of technical implementation.
EMU will contribute to the creation of a large zone of monetary stability in Europe. The euro, in particular, will be a strong and stable currency that will foster further economic and financial integration among member countries, thereby completing the internal market. It can be expected, nevertheless, that not all countries will initially participate in the euro area. Some may opt out; others might not yet be ready by 1 January 1999 as regards economic convergence. The question thus arises of how to avoid that the euro produces divisions within the European Union, between those that are in the euro area and those that are outside, with potential foreign exchange turbulences that endanger the internal market..."