Monday, November 28, 2011

The transfer to the ECU, from concept to hard currency

Frederik A. von Dewall , 1995

"The European Commission set up the Expert Group on the changeover to the single currency in May 1994 with the remit of advising the Commission on the technical preparations for introducing the single currency into the European Union. The Expert Group was also requested to initiate the preparations needed to bring about a common currency. The Expert Group consists of representatives of major sectors and sections of the community in Europe and is under the chairmanship of Mr Cees Maas. The Expert Group completed its interim report which was presented to EU vice-president Christophersen.
Recently the Expert Group has completed hearings with representatives of important sectors in the European economy, including consumers and financial institutions. These hearings served several goals: informing the various economic sectors in the EU, to learn what the contribution of these sectors could be to ensuring the smoothest possible introduction of the common currency and a listing of the bottlenecks. Viewed in this light, the recommendations and proposed solutions in the interim report are purely provisional conclusions. This applies all the more so to those subjects on which the Expert Group has explicitly said that a further exchange of ideas is indispensable. In its final report, which is now being written, the Expert Group will reach its final conclusions.
This article will, however, discuss and comment on the main problems highlighted by the Expert Group in its interim report. However, it goes without saying, that the public statements at the informal Econfin in Versailles of April on notes and coins and the most likely timetable, are strongly favoured by me.
The Expert Group has not, and will not, concerned itself with academic issues such as the optimum currency area. These issues have meanwhile become non-topics. The Maastricht Treaty is after all a reality..."

[Mrt: This "Expert Group" is also known under name "Maas Group"]



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