Europe and the Euro
PARIS – For anyone living in the 16 eurozone member states, the euro’s enduring success is both a technical and an emotional issue; both hearts and minds are involved. I consider it axiomatic that the euro is vital to Europe and, indeed, to the world economy.
First of all, it should be recalled that the European idea began as a project for ensuring peace and democracy among Europe’s peoples. When the new currency was introduced in 1999 – and even more so when European citizens had their first opportunity to use it in January 2002 – it was experienced as the most tangible, decisive proof that European integration was a reality. As the slogan goes: euro in your wallet, Europe in your pocket.
Twenty years after the European Parliament was elected by universal suffrage in 1979, the introduction of the euro marked a logical extension of the European dream.