The Beginning of European Monetary Co-operation



The recent upsurge of enthusiasm for monetary integration shown by all members of the European Economic Community, and the multiplicity of plans put forward, tend to obscure the humble beginnings of what has been a gradual process of monetary co-operation and integration in Europe. Such a process really began after the Second World War with a series of formal intra-European schemes designed to facilitate multilateral trade and payments. These schemes may seem, in retrospect, infinitely less ambitious than current plans for supranationality and a common currency in the Community, but at that time they represented a revolutionary step away from the ‘strait-jacket’ imposed upon Europe by bilateralism in international trade and payments. This chapter examines these initial steps in European monetary co-operation up to the formation of the European Payments Union in 1950.


European Economic Community Trade Imbalance European Trade Bilateral Deficit Multilateral System 
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© Peter Coffey and John R. Presley 1971

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