Ustanawianie unii gospodarczej i walutowej w procesie integracji europejskiej
Economic and monetary union (EMU) is the most advanced form of international economic integration. The process of establishing the EMU in the European Union was long-lasting and determined by the dynamics of the European integration, as well as by political initiatives. The first attempt to create an EMU, made in early 70., turned out to be a failure, mainly due to insufficient economic integration of the participating economies. The second attempt at monetary integration, in the form of the European Monetary System (the EMS), was relatively successful, as it formally remained in existence during twenty years. However, in practice, the system disintegrated a few years earlier, when it was transformed into a quasi-floating exchange rate regime, following two serious speculative crisises. The underlying reason was again insufficient convergence of the participating economies and resulting divergence of monetary policy pursued by member countries. Together with the establishment of the single European market, came a turning point in the process of monetary integration, for two reasons. First, a substantial advancement of economic integration fully revealed the need for a common currency. Second, operating single market started to create potentially advantageous conditions for future monetary integration. However, it was politics that influenced most the decision to launch the project of the EMU. The accession to the EMU was made dependent on the criteria that have little in common with the optimal currency theory. What’s more, the interpretation of the criteria in the process of evaluation was rather flexible.