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Vers une monnaie commune en Europe ?

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  • Henri Sterdyniak
  • Catherine Mathieu

Abstract

[eng] European monetary union has again been the subject of debate in recent months. The supporters are mainly French, the reasons being that France wishes, on the one hand, to assert its will to manage a strong national currency and, on the other hand, to limit the monetary leadership of West Germany. The latter would be in favour of monetary unification only if monetary policy would meet the standard of the German one. Three kinds of processes can be distinguished. First, those favouring the development of a European parallel currency competing with national currencies. Second, those opting for the progressive shift of monetary powers from national monetary authorities to an autonomous European institution. The third is completion of the union without any transitory stage. Whichever process is considered, the gains — such as easier capital flows within the Community and a decrease in French interest rates — cannot be assessed without taking into account the potential dangers — monetary authorities that would pursue a price stability objective rather than economic growth — as well as the uncertainties due to the fact that monetary union, depending on its institutional characteristics, could mean that budgetary policies would be more autonomous or, conversely, would be more constrained by a monetary discipline. [fre] L'union monétaire européenne est de nouveau à l'ordre du jour. Soutenue par la France, soucieuse à la fois d'affirmer l'irréversibilité de son choix d'une politique de franc fort et de limiter l'actuelle domination monétaire de la RFA, l'unification n'est concevable du point de vue allemand que sous des conditions garantissant le maintien d'une politique monétaire autonome et rigoureuse. Trois catégories de voies sont envisageables. Celles qui privilégient le développement d'une monnaie parallèle, n'apparaissent guère susceptibles d'aboutir à une disparition totale des monnaies circulant effectivement. Celles, que nous regroupons sous le terme « méthode douce », qui consistent à transférer progressivement les pouvoirs monétaires des banques centrales nationales à un institut fédéral autonome, supposent une phase transitoire difficile, où la France perdrait de son autonomie monétaire sans bénéficier de meilleures facilités de financement. Enfin la « méthode brutale », difficilement réalisable pour des motifs politiques, propose que l'union soit réalisée sans aucune phase transitoire. Quel que soit le processus considéré, les avantages — meilleure circulation des fonds en Europe, baisse des taux d'intérêt en France — doivent être pesés face aux dangers — création d'un pouvoir monétaire autonome plus sensible à la stabilité des prix qu'à la croissance, risque de pertes durables de compétitivité — et aux incertitudes car selon sa configuration institutionnelle, le système permettra une plus grande autonomie des poltiques budgétaires ou au contraire les enfermera dans un carcan monétaire.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3406/ofce.1989.1164
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): 26 (1989)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 95-126

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Handle: RePEc:prs:rvofce:ofce_0751-6614_1989_num_26_1_1164

Note: DOI:10.3406/ofce.1989.1164
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Web page: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/revue/ofce

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