Economic and Monetary Union as an Example of Differentiated Integration
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Despite the over 60 years’ experience with European integration (since the Paris Treaty), it remains permeated with certain distinctions and dissimilarities with respect to particular Member States. The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is the best example of differentiated integration, since as early as its initial construction it contained signifi cant differences vis-à-vis Member States. The third stage of the EMU (in force since 1 January 1999), the introduction of the single European currency, did not encompass all 15 Member States, but only 11 of them. Greece joined it only in 2002, and the United Kingdom and Denmark had negotiated an opt-out provision in the Maastricht Treaty. This article explores differentiated integration in the EMU framework, and presents as well the consequences for the countries outside the ‘hard core’ of currency integration, i.e. those states which are the subjects of temporary derogations and which are obliged, by their Accession Treaties, to accept the European currency in the future.
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