In This Review

European Monetary Integration, 1958-2002
European Monetary Integration, 1958-2002
By Emmanuel Apel
Routledge, 1998, 222 pp

Europe has just inaugurated one of the most momentous monetary experiments of all time, fusing ten national currencies into one under supranational management. The push began in 1993, when the member states established the institutional details after the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty. The actual membership of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), however, was not agreed upon until May 1998. The new European Central Bank was set up shortly thereafter and the currency kicked off smoothly on January 4 this year. This book details the history of European monetary cooperation beginning with the 1957 Treaty of Rome, with flashbacks as far back as Charlemagne's attempt to unify west European coinage 1,200 years ago. In a period of rapid change, books can become quickly dated; Apel carries the story only to mid-1997. Nonetheless, he neatly recounts the rationale behind EMU, the winding road leading to the decision, and the false steps and serious reservations along the way. He also provides a useful reference on the origins of the many emu provisions that are likely to endure.