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European Union, Europeanization, Markets / Finance, Political economy, Western Europe, Les Cahiers du CERI
The author first claims the right to criticize the monetary aspects of the Maastricht agreement without being accused of anti-european nationalism. He wonders whether European construction will be undertaken in such a way as to preserve the synthesis of economic efficiency and social solidarity which has for so long distinguished Western Europe from other parts of the world. After having examined the underlying logic of present policies designed to maintain the twofold objective of monetary stability and competitive deflation, the paper analyses the negative effects of this strategy. It shows that European construction can not be expected to automatically enable a convergence in the member countries' economies for, paradoxically, the contrary, i.e. divergence, is more likely. Having suggested that the Community will be unable to get by without a variety of economic policies, the paper examines the choice available if the twin goals of economic efficiency and social well-being are to be pursued. This choice is, to either speed up the movement towards a single currency coupled with the strengthening of national budgetary policies, or to envisage another kind of process for European construction with preference given to the development of a parallel currency.