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Europe’s Monetary (Dis)union

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Foreign Affairs From The Anthology: Europe’s Monetary (Dis)union
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New Opportunities and New Challenges

The past-including my past-is over. The prophet Isaiah wrote: "Forget the former things. Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up. Do you not perceive it?" At every moment of life, at every moment of activity, one should mostly envisage the future, and that is the reason for the title of these lectures.

In my comments on the world economic situation, I will cover three points. The first will be the conditions for a lasting economic recovery; the second, my view on the phased march toward a new Bretton Woods; and the third, a joint assessment of the structural aspects of the crisis.

II

The Williamsburg Summit provided an opportunity to mark the end of the world economic crisis we have lived through since 1973. Mutual undertakings should have carried a clear signal to all actors on the economic scene. The opportunity was not seized.

I do not want to minimize the results of the Williamsburg Summit. For instance, the joint statement on arms control and security, in the present context of relations between the Soviet Union and the West, was a significant collective step, with three major components:

-the confirmation by the three European countries concerned that they will proceed with the deployment of Euromissiles starting at the end of this year unless a now improbable agreement on current INF negotiations takes place before; the electoral results since then in the United Kingdom and Italy have given additional weight to this commitment;

-the explicit exclusion of the French and British nuclear forces from INF negotiations, which was necessary since some imprudent steps had led the Soviet Union to insist on their inclusion and cast some doubts on the attitude of Western countries; to be sure, the proposal by the U.S.S.R. after the Williamsburg Summit to impose a freeze on existing nuclear forces, including European ones, shows that this fundamental question, which is addressed in my third Lecture of this

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