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The preceding papers amply demonstrate that an important step in the progressive integration of the European Union can be a compelling one without being an easy one. The transition to economic and monetary union (EMU) in Europe is precisely such a step. In this brief comment, I hope merely to show that, however powerful may be the case for economic and monetary union, passage to it is both generating institutional misgivings and entailing what could be institutional mistakes.

I begin with the case for economic and monetary union, which I consider to be a very strong one indeed. Not many initiatives remain to be taken in the European Union that serve as many purposes lying so close to the heart of the European enterprise. In the first place, although one frequently reads that the "transaction costs" associated with multiple currencies have been exaggerated, the fact remains that those costs are not negligible and are in any event quite conspicuous. By definition, the more the single market succeeds, the more crossborder transactions there will be, with transaction costs commensurately increasing.


Banking and Finance Law | European Law | Law