Economic effects of the Maastricht Treaty Essay

Economic effects of the Maastricht Treaty Essay

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The Maastricht Treaty is the most recent step towards uniting Europe into a political and economic European union (EU).  For decades, Europeans have been gradually moving towards a united Europe in order to increase economic efficiency.  While this appears to be a relatively easy idea on the surface, it is far more complex than one could expect.  Many countries stand to gain and others stand to lose if a monetary union (MU) takes place.  In addition to the many economic issues, any analysis of a monetary union is complicated greatly by the critical political and personal objectives of the politicians that are working to integrate Europe.

Generally, on economic grounds, southern countries such as Italy, Spain, and Greece are more inclined to join a MU because, by linking to the core countries of Europe, they should gain stability.  In effect, the countries which have the most volatile currencies and the worst managed economies (Italy and Greece) have the greatest interest in a MU in the hope of gaining the economic stability that they have been unable to achieve on their own (EMU - The Main Points 1 - 38).  Moreover, they would receive transfer payments from the wealthier countries which would help speed their domestic development.

Some of these economic rewards would come at the expense of the core countries.  While the countries with strong currencies (Germany and France) are less interested in a MU for economic reasons, and have less or little to gain economically, they (or their leaders) favor union for political reasons , as long as the economic price of admitting the poorly managed southern countries can be held down (EMU - The Main Points).  These are not minor concerns.  Th...

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...anhoonacker.  Netherlands: martinus Nijhoff Pub,  1994.  17 - 44.

Bishop, Graham.  European Investment Research,  Economic and Market Analysis: Eculand - Its Future?  London:  Reuters,  1992.  1 - 15.

Desideri, Carlo.  "Italian Regions in the European Community."  The European Union and the Regions.  Ed.  Barry Jones and Michael Keating.  Oxford:  Clarendon Press,  1995.  65 - 87.

EMU:  The Main Points.  Bank Leu Ltd.  Zurich:  Reuters, 1995.  1-38.

Sandholtz, Wayne.  "Choosing Union:  Monetary Politics and Maastricht."  The European Union:  Readings on the Theory and Practice of European Integration.  

Ed.  Brent F. Nelsen and Alexander C-G. Stubb.  Colorado:  Lynne Reinner Pub,  

1994.  257 - 290.

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