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Macroeconomic and monetary policy-making at the EC, from the Rome Treaties to the Hague Summit


  • Ivo Maes

    () (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department
    University of Leuven


This paper discusses macroeconomic and monetary policy-making at the European Commission, covering the period from the Rome Treaties to the Hague Summit. It is based on an analysis of public documents, archival research and interviews with former policy-makers. The paper starts with an overview of the economic philosophy of the Rome Treaties and senior macroeconomic policy-makers at the Commission, followed by an analysis of economic developments in the 1960s. Thereafter, the focus is on three crucial macroeconomic policy documents of the period: the European Reserve Fund project in 1958, the Commission's Action Programme for the Second Stage of the EEC of October 1962 and the Barre Memorandum of October 1969. The Commission\u2019s objectives tended to be both defensive, preserving the "acquis communautaire", especially avoiding recourse to the safeguard clauses, and pro-active, stimulating the process of European integration. From an analytical point of view, the Commission focussed on the compatibility of policies between the Member States. Gradually, a typical Commission analysis developed, based on a blending of German convergence ideas with the French medium-term approach. The paper further illustrates the ascent of the Commission as an actor in the monetary area, notwithstanding the relatively limited provisions of the EEC Treaty.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivo Maes, 2004. "Macroeconomic and monetary policy-making at the EC, from the Rome Treaties to the Hague Summit," Working Paper Research 58, National Bank of Belgium.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:200408

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ivo Maes, 2002. "Economic Thought and the Making of European Monetary Union," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2515.
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    Cited by:

    1. Servaas Deroose & Dermot Hodson & Joost Kuhlmann, 2008. "The Broad Economic Policy Guidelines: Before and After the Re-launch of the Lisbon Strategy," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46, pages 827-848, September.

    More about this item


    macroeconomic and monetary policy-making; European Commission; Rome Treaty; European Reserve Fund; Action Programme for the Second Stage; Barre Memorandum; the Hague Summit;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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