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The process of European monetary integration : a comparison of the Belgian and Italian approaches


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  • Ivo Maes

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

  • Lucia Quaglia

    (European University Institute)

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    This paper analyses and compares the roles which Belgium and Italy have played in the process of European monetary integration. It discusses Belgian and Italian attitudes towards European integration and EMU, exchange rate policies, key concepts of the Belgian and Italian EMU strategies and the concrete contributions made by Belgium and Italy. Overall, these two countries played an important and pace-setting role in the process of European monetary integration. They developed several creative and diplomatic proposals. Moreover, Belgian and Italian policy-makers often acted as "policy entrepreneurs" and proved to be skilful negotiators. The main difference is that Belgium has been a constant and consistent "pace-setter" in monetary matters, from the preparation of the Hague Summit to the elaboration of the EMS, the monetary chapter in the Single European Act and the realisation of EMU, whereas Italy was mainly active in the 1980s. This assessment of the Belgian and Italian contributions does not challenge the decisive impact of the Franco-German axis, but illustrates that EMU was a multilateral process. Furthermore, the paper shows how important it was for a country to achieve a sound economic performance, especially a stable exchange rate, in order to have influence on the European monetary scene.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 40.

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    Length: 46 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:200308-1

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    Keywords: European monetary integration; Belgium; Italy;

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    Cited by:
    1. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Gali, 2006. "A new Keynesian model with unemployment," Working Paper Research 92, National Bank of Belgium.
    2. François Coppens & David Vivet, 2006. "The single European electricity market: A long road to convergence," Working Paper Document 84, National Bank of Belgium.
    3. Joachim Keller, 2008. "Agency problems in structured finance – a case study of European CLOs," Working Paper Document 137, National Bank of Belgium.
    4. Eleftheriou, Maria & Gerdesmeier, Dieter & Roffia, Barbara, 2006. "Monetary policy rules in the pre-EMU era: Is there a common rule?," Working Paper Series 0659, European Central Bank.
    5. Lucia Quaglia, 2003. "European Monetary Integration and the ‘Constitutionalization’ of Macroeconomic Policy Making," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 235-251, September.
    6. Joseph Plasmans & Tomasz Michalak & Jorge Fornero, 2006. "Simulation, estimation and welfare implications of monetary policies in a 3-country NOEM model," Working Paper Research 94, National Bank of Belgium.


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