Constitutional Political Economy

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 189–205 | Cite as

Germany and Italy: conflicting policy paradigms towards European monetary integration?



In the literature on European monetary integration Germany and Italy are mostly strongly contrasted. However, this paper argues that there were important similarities between the policy paradigms in these two countries, in particular if a broader historical perspective is adopted. This work analyses the policy paradigms towards European monetary integration in Italy and Germany. Moreover, it contextualises these paradigms into the national institutional setting: while Germany was characterised by power sharing institutions, Italy featured power fragmentation (something which also affected the economic performance of both countries). There were significant differences between the policy paradigms of foreign policy-makers and economic policy-makers. Foreign policy makers, in both countries, under the influence of a European federalist vision, were strongly in favour of European monetary integration. These beliefs of foreign policy decision makers were crucial in charting EMU policy at history-making moments. The pro EMU policy paradigms of foreign policymakers contrasted, during most of the period covered, with the more sceptical beliefs of economic policy makers. In both countries, economic policy-makers, at different moments, had doubts whether enough “convergence” had been reached to make a more stable exchange rate system sustainable.


European monetary integration EMU Germany Italy 

JEL Classifications

A11 B20 E58 F02 P16 



The authors would like to thank all those who contributed to this project, especially the many persons with whom the authors had fascinating and illuminating discussions as well as the persons who commented on earlier drafts, especially J.-P. Abraham and the participants at the 2005 UACES annual conference. The usual caveats apply.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research DepartmentNational Bank of BelgiumBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Robert Triffin Chair, Institut d’études européennesUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  4. 4.Sussex European Institute, Department of PoliticsUniversity of SussexSussexUK

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