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France's and Italy's Policies on European Monetary Integration: a comparison of 'strong' and 'weak' states

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  • Lucia Quaglia
  • Ivo Maes
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    Abstract

    This work compares France and Italy's policies on European monetary integration from the early 1970s arguing that the very different state structures determined the different policies pursued towards European monetary integration. France is a 'strong' state in terms of macroeconomic policy-making in that it was able to coordinate the activities of national institutions in order to produce coherent macroeconomic policies that were a crucial condition for taking part in European monetary integration. Italy, in contrast, is characterised by an 'archipelago' configuration with weak political capacity, which resulted in less coherent and effective macroeconomic policies, thus challenging its participation in European monetary agreements. State traditions also affected the views of the respective countries on European integration with French policy makers largely in favour of an intergovernmental approach and Italian policy makers supporting a supranational one. Overall, whereas it was politically problematic for France to accept the principles of a supranational Economic and Monetary Union as well as central bank independence, the main obstacle for Italy was to achieve economic convergence.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS) in its series EUI-RSCAS Working Papers with number 10.

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    Date of creation: 15 Sep 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0078

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    Keywords: EMU; Euro; economic performance; economic policy; France; Italy;

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    1. Posner, Alan R., 1977. "Italy: dependence and political fragmentation," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(04), pages 809-838, September.
    2. Fratianni,Michele & Spinelli,Franco, 2005. "A Monetary History of Italy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023450, April.
    3. Putnam, Robert D., 1978. "Interdependence and the Italian Communists," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(02), pages 301-349, March.
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