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Common fate, common future

A documentary history of monetary and financial cooperation in Europe. 1947-1974

Omslag-klen-Common-FateMonetary cooperation, in the sense of different political entities adopting or supporting a single coin or currency to foster trade and economic development, has had a long history in Europe. Its roots reach as far back as Roman times. In post-1945 Europe, ideas and reminiscences of such cooperative endeavours, notably those undertaken in the latter half of the 19th century, struck a chord. Recovering from the gravest conflict in history that had brought unprecedented suffering and devastation, more than a few European thinkers and policy makers regarded such unions as exemplary. The particular circumstances of the late 1940s formed the backdrop to renewed promotion of monetary cooperation in talks between nations that had, until recently, been at war with each other. An attractive prospect of a stable monetary island where badly needed economic reconstruction would profit from the abolition of barriers to trade beckoned on the horizon.
This book does not cover the entire ascent of ideas from the late 1940s to the creation of the euro area in 1999 and the euro’s subsequent introduction as a common currency in 2002, but focuses on the exchanges that took place up to the adoption by the European Council, on 8 and 9 June 1970, of the basic plan for the achievement by stages of an economic and monetary union at the European level. This, after all, was the crucial turning point in the process moving from option to necessity. In December 2010 it found its wording in the stated conviction of the euro as our ‘common fate’, and Europe as our ‘common future’ – to quote the German Chancellor Angela Merkel before the German Parliament, on the eve of one of the summits to discuss the monetary crisis enveloping Europe since 2009. Her statement subsequently became one of the cornerstones of German policy in this respect.
The recent crisis has highlighted the challenges and difficulties of financial and monetary cooperation in the European Union (EU). This publication seeks to contribute to the quality of the debate on this subject by offering a more historical perspective. Its contents will reveal that the basic issue to be resolved – how to organise effective monetary cooperation between ultimately sovereign states – has remained the same over time. To demonstrate this and shed light on various past approaches to overcome this fundamental dilemma, this book offers a selection of primary sources from the period after the end of the Second World War until 1973, when the important decisions to move towards adopting a single European currency had been taken. Together they provide an insight into the political and technical issues surrounding the process towards an economic and monetary union from the early days of European integration. Before moving to the core of the book, the selection of sources, this introduction will provide a short overview of monetary integration in Europe up to the end of the Second World War, as well as information on how the book is structured.

Marc Dierikx (ed.), Mari Smits, Loes van Suijlekom, Frédéric Clavert, Elena Danescu, Marco Gabellini, Common fate, common future. A documentary history of monetary and financial cooperation in Europe, 1947-1974 (Den Haag/Sanem: Huygens ING/CVCE, 20120).

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List of digital references

Preface.
Note 21. Circular from the Belgian Foreign Ministry on Monetary Convention between Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands , 2 November 1943. [EN] [FR]

Introduction to document 1.
Note 25. Bank of International Settlements, Eighteenth Annual Report, 1st of April 1947-31st of March 1948. [EN]

Document 1. Note to the Netherlands Minister of Finance (Piet Lieftinck) on inter-European monetary cooperation, 27 October 1947. [NL]
Addendum: Proposed initial agreement on multilateral monetary compensation [FR]

Introduction to documents 2 and 3.
Note 33. Telegram from Dean Acheson to the US Embassy in Paris, Washington, 19 October 1949. [EN]

Note 35. Statement by ECA Administrator, Paul Hoffman, at the 75th OEEC Council meeting Paris, 31st October, 1949. [EN]

Note 39. Record of Conversation on Fritalux, Foreign Office UK, 14 December 1949. [EN]

Document 2. Memorandum presented by France (Hervé Alphand) on economic and monetary cooperation in Western Europe, 14 November 1949. [FR]

Note 41. Résolution relative à de nouvelles mesures de coopération adoptée par le Conseil le 2 novembre 1949. [FR]

Document 3. Report of the experts of Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands on the establishment of an economic and monetary association in Western Europe, 9 December 1949. [FR]

Introduction to document 4.
Note 45. British memorandum on the future of intra-European payments, 15 December 1949. [EN]

Document 4. Memorandum presented by Belgium on the European Payments Union, 8 March 1950. [FR]

Introduction to document 5.
Note 51. Telegram Henri Bonnet (French ambassador, Washington) to Affaires Etrangères, 13 September 1949. [FR]

Note 52. Protocol German cabinet meeting, 12 December 1950. [DE]

Note 53. Note Affaires Etrangères to Jean Filippi (Ministère des Finances), 16 May 1950. [FR]

Note 54. Document de travail, établi par la délégation française, 24 June 1950. [FR]

Note 55. Letter Dirk Stikker to Willem Drees, 16 June 1950. [NL]

Note 56. Minutes Council for Economic Affairs (Netherlands Cabinet), 1 July 1950. [NL]

Note 58. Memorandum on Economic Union with Belgium and Luxembourg, 27 December 1951. [NL]

Document 5. Speech by the German Federal Minister for Marshall Plan Affairs (Franz Blücher) on the European Payments Union, 8 August 1952. [EN] [DE]

Introduction to documents 6, 7 and 8.
Document 6. Declaration by the Netherlands Delegation to the Economic Commission of the Conference for the European Political Community (Rome) concerning the relation between the common market and the coordination of monetary politics, 26 September 1953. [FR]
Addendum: Minutes of the third session of the Economic Commission, held Friday 25 September 1953. [FR]

Note 64. Aide mémoire de la Délégation Allemande sur les mesures à prendre pour réaliser le marché commun, 26 September 1953. [FR]

Document 7. Modifications proposed by the Belgian Ministry of Economic Affairs on the articles of the projected statute of the European Political Community regarding economic powers, 30 October 1953. [FR]

Document 8. Interim report of the Economic Commission to the Executive Committee of the Commission for the European Political Community, 22 January 1954. [FR]

Note 67. Conference for the European Political Community, 22 September-9 October 1953, Report to the ministers of Foreign Affairs, 9 October 1953. [NL] [FR]

Introduction to documents 9 and 10.
Note 68. Report of the Heads of Delegation to the Foreign Ministers (Spaak Report), 21 April 1956. [EN] [FR]

Document 9. Attachment to the letter of the Netherlands Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Joseph Luns and Jan Willem Beyen) on the report of the Commission on the Common Market, 31 October 1955. [NL]
Addendum: The Study Conference in Brussels, 14 October 1955. [NL]

Note 69. Memorandum of the Netherlands minister of Foreign Affairs (Jan Willem Beyen) on European integration, 11 december 1952. [NL] [FR] [DE]

Document 10. French memorandum concerning the institution of a monetary committee, 15 October 1956. [FR]

Introduction to documents 11, 12 and 13.
Document 11. Articles 104 to 109 of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (Treaty of Rome), 25 March 1957. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]

Document 12. Speech by the Chairman of the European Commission (Walter Hallstein) to the constitutive session of the Monetary Committee, 3 June 1958. [FR]

Document 13. First report on the activities of the Monetary Committee of the EEC, 28 February 1959. [FR]

Introduction to document 14.
Document 14. Memorandum of the European Commission on the Action Programme of the Community for the Second Stage, 24 October 1962. [EN] [FR-1] [FR-2]

Introduction to document 15.
Note 80. Internal memorandum E.H. van der Beugel, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 20 June 1956. [NL]

Document 15. Communication of the Netherlands on the Action Programme of the European Commission, 25 April 1963. [NL]

Note 84. Netherlands Parliamentary Proceedings, Second Chamber, 1962-1963, addendum 6900, chapter V, no. 11. [NL]

Introduction to documents 16, 17 and 18.
Note 87. Monetary and financial co-operation in the EEC. Communication from the Commission to the Council submitted on 24 June 1963. [EN] [FR]

Document 16. Report by the Netherlands Ministry of Finance on the proposals of the European Commission to strengthen monetary and financial cooperation within the EEC, 7 August 1963. [NL]

Document 17. Netherlands memorandum on the monetary aspects of the agricultural proposals, 17 February 1964. [NL]

Document 18. Netherlands interdepartmental note on the agricultural accounting unit, 15 June 1967. [NL]

Introduction to documents 19 and 20.
Document 19. Memorandum by the European Commission on the policy to be pursued in the Community to tackle the current economic and monetary problems, 5 December 1968. [FR]

Document 20. Memorandum by the European Commission to the Council on the coordination of economic policies and monetary cooperation within the Community, (Barre Memorandum), 12 February 1969. [EN] [FR] [DE]

Introduction to documents 21, 22 and 23.
Document 21. Note by the Netherlands Ministry of Finance concerning the memorandum of the European Commission on the coordination of economic policies and monetary cooperation in the Community, 25 June 1969. [NL]

Document 22. Final communiqué of the Summit of Heads of State and Governments in The Hague, 2 December 1969. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]

Document 23. Position paper by the Netherlands Ministry of Finance on the medium term EEC-support mechanism according to the Barre Plan, 15 January 1970. [NL]

Note 110. Eleventh Report on the Activities of the Monetary Committee, Brussels, 15 May 1969. [EN]

Note 112. Council Decision on co-ordination of the short-term economic policies of the Member States, 17 July 1969. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]

Introduction to documents 24 and 25.
Document 24. Report of the 34th meeting of the Ministers of Finance of the European Communities in Paris, 23 and 24 February 1970. [NL]

Note 120. Un plan de solidarité monétaire européenne en trois étapes 1971-1977 (Snoy Plan), 27 January 1970. [FR]

Note 121. Lignes directrices d’un plan par étapes pour la réalisation de l’UEM dans la CEE (Schiller Plan), 12 February 1970. [FR] [DE]

Note 123. L’Europe en route vers l’union monétaire (Luxembourg Plan), 23 february 1970. [FR]

Document 25. Position paper by the Netherlands on the procedure for the development of a plan for an economic and monetary union, 26 February 1970. [NL]

Introduction to document 26.
Note 129. Un plan de solidarité monétaire européenne en trois étapes 1971-1977 (Snoy Plan), 27 January 1970. [FR]

Note 130. Lignes directrices d’un plan par étapes pour la réalisation de l’UEM dans la CEE (Schiller Plan), 12 February 1970. [FR] [DE]

Note 131. L’Europe en route vers l’union monétaire (Luxembourg Plan), 23 february 1970. [FR]

Note 133. Commission Memorandum to the Council in the Preparation of a Plan for the Phased Establishment of an Economic and Monetary Union, 4 March 1970. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]

Document 26. Comparative tables concerning the four plans for the achievement by stages of an economic and monetary union, 18 March 1970. [FR] [DE]

Note 137. Council Decision on co-ordination of the short-term economic policies of the Member States, 17 July 1969. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]

Note 142. Council Decision on co-operation between Member States in the field of international monetary relations, 8 May 1964. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]

Introduction to document 27.
Document 27. Note by the President of the Short-Term Economic Policy Committee of the EEC (Gerard Brouwers) to the Werner Group on the method for the realization of an Economic and monetary union, 3 April 1970. [FR]

Introduction to document 28.
Document 28. Report of the Treasurer of the Netherlands Ministry of Finance (Willem Drees Junior) on the conversations with Belgium and Luxembourg on monetary union in the EEC, 7 April 1970. [NL]

Introduction to document 29.
Document 29. Letter by the Belgian Minister of Finance (Jean-Charles Snoy et d’Oppuers) to the Netherlands Minister of Finance (Johan Witteveen), 15 May 1970. [FR]

Introduction to document 30.
Document 30. Notes by Pierre Werner on the establishment of an economic and monetary union, in preparation for the meeting of 20 May 1970. [FR-1] [FR-2]

Note 159. Pierre Werner, ‘Perspectives de la politique financière et monétaire européenne, 26 January 1968. [FR]

Note 162. Interim report to the Council and the Commission on the establishment by stages of economic and monetary union, 23 July 1970. [EN] [FR]

Introduction to document 31.
Document 31. Letter by Jean Monnet to the Luxembourg Prime Minister and Minister
of Finance (Pierre Werner), 26 May 1970. [FR]

Introduction to document 32.
Document 32. Letter by the Luxembourg Prime Minister and Minister of Finance (Pierre Werner) to the Chairman of the Committee of Governors of Central Banks (Hubert Ansiaux), 12 June 1970. [FR]

Note 174. ‘Interim Report on the Establishment by Stages of Economic and Monetary Union – “Werner Report”’, 20 May 1970. See also note 162. [EN]

Introduction to document 33.
Note 175. ‘Interim Report on the Establishment by Stages of Economic and Monetary Union – “Werner Report”’, 20 May 1970. See also note 162. [EN]

Document 33. Note by the President of the Short-Term Economic Policy Committee of the EEC (Gerard Brouwers) to the Werner Group on the final phase of the monetary union, 22 July 1970. [NL] [FR]

Introduction to document 34.
Document 34. Report by the Werner Group to the Council and the Commission on the realization by stages of economic and monetary union in the Community, 8 October 1970. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]

Note 183. ‘Interim Report on the Establishment by Stages of Economic and Monetary Union – “Werner Report”’, 20 May 1970. See also note 162. [EN]

Introduction to document 35.
Note 187. ‘Interim Report on the Establishment by Stages of Economic and Monetary Union – “Werner Report”’, 20 May 1970. See also note 162. [EN]

Document 35. Statement by the Luxembourg Prime Minister and Minister of Finance (Pierre Werner) to the Council of Ministers of the European Communities, 26 October 1970. [FR] [DE]

Introduction to document 36.
Document 36. Letter by Jacques Rueff to the Luxembourg Prime Minister and Minister of Finance (Pierre Werner), 28 October 1970. [FR]

Introduction to document 37.
Document 37. Proposal by the European Commission for a Council decision on strengthening coordination of the Member States’ short-term economic policies, 30 October 1970. [EN] [FR] [DE]

Introduction to document 38.
Note 195. Minutes of the Netherlands Cabinet Meeting, 5 June 1970. [NL]

Note 200. Commission memorandum and proposals to the Council on the establishment by stages of economic and monetary union, 30 October 1970. [EN]

Document 38. Memorandum to the Netherlands Minister and State Secretary of Foreign Affairs (Joseph Luns and Hans de Koster) on the monetary union, 5 November 1970. [NL]

Note 204. Conclusions of the Netherlands Interdepartmental Coordination Committee on European Integration and Association Issues, 17 November 1970. [NL]

Introduction to document 39.
Note 205. ‘Interim Report on the Establishment by Stages of Economic and Monetary Union – “Werner Report”’, 20 May 1970. See also note 162. [EN]

Document 39. Reaction of the British Foreign Office to the Werner Plan, 9 November 1970. [EN]

Introduction to document 40.
Note 220. Conclusions of the Netherlands Interdepartmental Coordination Committee on European Integration and Association Issues, 17 November 1970. [NL]

Note 221. Note of the Netherlands Ministry of Finance, ‘The move towards an economic and monetary union in the EEC’, 11 November 1970. [NL]

Note 224 and document 40. Report of the 131st meeting of the Council of the European Communities, 23 November 1970. [NL]

Introduction to document 41.
Document 41. Note by the Luxembourg Embassy in Bonn concerning the Franco-German position on the economic and monetary union, 27 January 1971. [FR]

Introduction to document 42.
Note 237. Willy Brandt, ‘Declaration on European policy’, 6 November 1970. [DE-text] [DE-audio]

Document 42. Letter by the German Chancellor (Willy Brandt) to the Luxembourg Prime Minister (Pierre Werner), 1 February 1971. [DE]

Introduction to document 43.
Note 244. Letter Posthumus Meyjes to the members of the Netherlands Coordination Committee for European Integration and Association Issues, 1 February 1971. [NL]

Note 245. Minutes of the Netherlands Cabinet Meeting, 5 February 1971. [NL]

Document 43. Conclusions of the Netherlands Interdepartmental Coordination Committee on European Integration and Association Issues regarding economic and monetary union, 3 February 1971. [NL]

Note 248. Letter Posthumus Meyjes to the members of the Netherlands Coordination Committee for European Integration and Association Issues, 1 February 1971. [NL]

Note 249. Report of the 136th Meeting of the Council of the European Communities, 14 December 1970. [NL]

Note 250. Minutes of the Netherlands Cabinet Meeting, 5 February 1971. [NL]

Introduction to document 44.
Note 254. Code Message Minister Luns to the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 12 February 1971. [NL]

Document 44. Statement by the German Minister of Economic Affairs (Karl Schiller) on the session of the Council on 8-9 February, 10 February 1971 [FR] [DE]

Introduction to document 45.
Note 260. Commission memorandum and proposals to the Council on the establishment by stages of economic and monetary union, 30 October 1970. [EN]

Note 261. ‘Interim Report on the Establishment by Stages of Economic and Monetary Union – “Werner Report”’, 20 May 1970. See also note 162. [EN]

Note 262. Council Decision on the strengthening of co-ordination of short-term economic policies of the Member States of the European Economic Community, 22 March 1971. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]

Note 263. Council Decision on the strengthening of co-operation between the central banks of the Member States of the European Economic Community, 22 Mach 1971. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]

Note 264. Council Decision setting up machinery for medium-term financial assistance, 22 March 1971. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]

Document 45. Resolution of the Council of the European Communities and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States on the achievement by stages of economic and monetary union, 22 March 1971. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]

Note 265. Council Decision on the replacement of financial contributions from Member States by the Communities’ own resources, 21 April 1970. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]

Introduction to document 46.
Document 46. Final Communiqué of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the enlarged Community, Paris, 19-21 October 1972. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]

Note 268. Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States on the application of the Resolution of 22 March 1971 on the attainment by stages of economic and monetary union in the Community, 21 March 1972. [NL] [EN] [FR] [DE]


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