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Future of Europe
Which of the 5 scenarios proposed would you choose?
  • Carrying On
  • Nothing but the Single Market
  • Those Who Want More Do More
  • Doing Less More Efficiently
  • Doing Much More Together
Vote
Show Results
  • Creative Europe Project
    The Department of Haute-Loire is looking for three European partners to parti...
    25 August 2017
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • White paper on the futur
    White paper on the future of Europe...
    27 July 2017
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • The EU's response to the
    One of our student interns produced this well-written article about the ongoi...
    20 February 2017
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • The importance of labour
    This article, written by a student at the University of Malta, passionately c...
    20 February 2017
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • Strengthened EU-Swiss Re
    The EU enjoys very close relations with Switzerland in every sense: culturall...
    29 December 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • A boost for the European
    The European Commission is stepping up its efforts to develop a strong space ...
    26 October 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • EU increasing support fo
    The EU has announced that it shall implement new aid programmes in the Latin ...
    26 October 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • Commission proposes EU c
    Delivering on the Security Union: Commission proposes EU certification system...
    07 September 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • VAT Gap: Nearly €160 bil
    A staggering €159.5 billion in Value Added Tax revenues were lost across the ...
    06 September 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • Variable attitudes towar
    Performance-related pay and employee reward systems in Europe are often uneve...
    01 September 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • EU's 2017 budget: Parlia
    The EU's budget for next year will be decided over the coming months. Startin...
    30 August 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • Commission proposes 2018
    The Commission is also seeking to highlight the role of Europe's cultural her...
    30 August 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
The Euro  

The Euro is the single currency shared by 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. Each of the new EU member states is expected to adopt the euro once it meets the necessary criteria. In the long run, virtually all EU countries should join the euro area.

The euro gives consumers in Europe considerable advantage. Travellers are spared the cost and inconvenience of changing currencies. Shoppers can directly compare prices in different countries. Prices are stable thanks to the European Central Bank, whose job is to maintain this stability. Moreover the euro has become a major reserve currency, alongside the US dollar. During the 2008financial crises, having a common currency protected euro area countries from competitive devaluation and from attack by speculators.


Its creation

At the European Council in Madrid in June 1989, EU leaders adopted a three stage plan for economic and monetary union (EMU):

  • Stage one began on 1 July 1990, involved completely free movement of capital within the EU, increasing the Structural Funds to remove inequalities and economic convergence.
  • Stage two began on 1 January 1994. It involved setting up the European Monetary Institute (EMI) in Frankfurt made up of the central banks of the EU countries; making national central banks independent of government control and introducing rules to curb national budget deficits.
  • Stage three was the birth process of the euro. From 1 January 1999 to 1 January 2002, the euro was phased in as the common currency of EU countries that participated.

Counties having the Euro currency


Denmark, Sweden and the UK decided, for political and technical reasons, not to adopt the euro when it was launched. Slovenia joined the euro area in 2007, followed by Cyprus and Malta in 2008 and Slovakia in 2009 and Estonia in 2011. More countries are let to join once they have meet the 5 convergence criteria:

Price stability, Interest rates, Deficits, Public debt & Exchange rate stability


The Stability and Growth Pact


In June 1997, the Amsterdam European Council adopted a Stability and Growth Pact. This was a permanent commitment to budgetary stability, and made it possible for penalties to be imposed on any country in the euro area whose budget deficit exceeds 3% of GDP.


Macroeconomic convergence since 2007: the effects of the crises


The 2008 financial crisis considerably increased public debt in most EU countries. Having a common currency however protected euro-area countries from competitive devaluation and from attack by speculators. In 2010 the EU member states decided to set up a financial stabilisation mechanism for the Euro area, providing €750B in funds from the member states.


At the same time, the EU member states and institutions brought provisions designed to strengthen the EU’s economic governance: prior discussion of national budget plans, monitoring national economies and tightening the rules on competitiveness and reviewing the sanctions to be applied if countries breach the financial rules. The EU is having to take tougher action to ensure the member states manage their budgets responsibly and support one another financially.

This is a way to ensure the euro remains credible as a single currency and that the member states can, together, face the economic challenges of globalisation.


  • Creative Europe Project ...
    The Department of Haute-Loire is looking for three European partners to parti...
    25 August 2017
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • White paper on the futur...
    White paper on the future of Europe...
    27 July 2017
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • The EU's response to the...
    One of our student interns produced this well-written article about the ongoi...
    20 February 2017
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • The importance of labour...
    This article, written by a student at the University of Malta, passionately c...
    20 February 2017
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • Strengthened EU-Swiss Re...
    The EU enjoys very close relations with Switzerland in every sense: culturall...
    29 December 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • A boost for the European...
    The European Commission is stepping up its efforts to develop a strong space ...
    26 October 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • EU increasing support fo...
    The EU has announced that it shall implement new aid programmes in the Latin ...
    26 October 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • Commission proposes EU c...
    Delivering on the Security Union: Commission proposes EU certification system...
    07 September 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • VAT Gap: Nearly €160 bil...
    A staggering €159.5 billion in Value Added Tax revenues were lost across the ...
    06 September 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • Variable attitudes towar...
    Performance-related pay and employee reward systems in Europe are often uneve...
    01 September 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • EU's 2017 budget: Parlia...
    The EU's budget for next year will be decided over the coming months. Startin...
    30 August 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • Commission proposes 2018...
    The Commission is also seeking to highlight the role of Europe's cultural her...
    30 August 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
Valletta
The EUROPE DIRECT network is one of the Commission’s main tools to offer information to citizens at local level and to gather citizens` feedback for the European Institutions. EDICs are a direct entry point to the Union for the citizens, offering general EU information, referring to specialised information sources, raising awareness and promoting debate.
read more...
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