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L'Europe vers l'U.E.M. ?

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  • Jean-Jacques Santini
  • Guy Longueville
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    Abstract

    [fre] La Communauté Européenne est entrée depuis le 1er janvier 1994 en phase II de l'Union Économique et Monétaire (U.E.M.). Dès le 1er janvier 1997, si sept États membres satisfont aux critères de convergence définis par le Traité de Maastricht, ou au plus tard le 1er janvier 1999, une monnaie unique devrait voir le jour. L'état des lieux qui peut être réalisé aujourd'hui montre que la situation des pays membres au regard de ces critères est peu favorable, ce qui rend peu plausible l'entrée en phase III de l'U.E.M. dès 1997. Toutefois, l'amélioration de la conjoncture, comme les efforts de la plupart des pays membres, devraient faire revenir au cours des prochaines années la majorité d'entre eux à l'intérieur des normes retenues, sauf en ce qui concerne la dette publique. Celle-ci dépasse aujourd'hui dans la majorité des États membres le plafond admis par le Traité de 60 % du P.I.B. Or, contrairement aux autres critères, s'agissant d'un stock, ce plafond n'apparaît pas susceptible d'être réduit rapidement par des politiques économiques actives. Les projections qui peuvent être faites dans ce domaine à partir d'hypothèses simples montrent cependant qu'une moitié environ des pays concernés devrait pouvoir entrer en phase III de l'U.E.M. à l'horizon 1999, à condition que la croissance demeure soutenue sur la période et que les taux d'intérêt réels à long terme n'excèdent pas sensiblement le taux de croissance économique. Si ces conditions n'étaient pas remplies, de nombreux États risqueraient de se trouver exclus de cette troisième phase sur le seul critère d'endettement public, soit que leur taux d'endettement soit déjà trop élevé en 1994 et le demeure, soit que l'environnement économique évolue moins favorablement que prévu. Pour ceux d'entre eux dont les déséquilibres macro-économiques seraient devenus acceptables grâce à des politiques monétaires et budgétaires prudentes, une entrée en phase III ne pourrait avoir lieu que si le critère d'endettement public était interprété avec une certaine souplesse. [eng] Since 1st January 1994 the "European Union" entered into Phase II of the Economic and Monetary Union (E.M.U.). From 1st January of 1997, a single currency will be introduced in the E.U., if seven member States fulfil by then the convergence criterias defined by the Treaty of Maastricht. If this objective is not achieved, the single currency should be introduced on the 1st January 1999. Yet, at present, the situation in the member countries concerning the fulfilment of these criterias is not very encouraging. Therefore into Phase III of E.M.U. by 1997 does not appear to be very realistic. However the improvement of the overall economic situation as well as the efforts undertaken by the majority of the member States should enable the majority of the European countries to meat the criteria defined in the Maastricht Treaty, except for the public debt ratio. As a matter of fact, in a majority of member countries, this ratio today exceeds the 60% of Gross National Product ceiling as defined in the Maastricht Treaty. And, contrary to the other criterias, because public debt is a stock, this ratio is not likely to be reduced quickly through active economic policies. Projections which can be made in this field with the use of simple assumptions show however that by 1999 about half of the member States will be able to enter into Phase III of E.M.U. if they achieve continuing and strong growth during that period and if real long term interest rates do not exceed too much the economic growth rate. In case these conditions are not fulfilled, numerous countries are at risk to find themselves excluded from phase III owing to the criteria of public debt, either because their public debt is already too high in 1994 and would remain at that level, or because the economic context would develop less favourably than expected. For these countries experiencing macro-economic imbalances which would become acceptable by 1999 thanks to prudent monetary and budgetary politics, an entry into Phase III could then only take place if the criteria of public debt was interpreted with a certain flexibility.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3406/rfeco.1994.958
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    File URL: http://www.persee.fr/articleAsPDF/rfeco_0769-0479_1994_num_9_3_958/rfeco_0769-0479_1994_num_9_3_958.pdf?mode=light
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue française d'économie.

    Volume (Year): 9 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 23-52

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    Handle: RePEc:prs:rfreco:rfeco_0769-0479_1994_num_9_3_958

    Note: DOI:10.3406/rfeco.1994.958
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    Web page: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/revue/rfeco

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