Ja zum Euro und auf gehts

Für die acht postkommunistischen Länder, die die EU im Jahr 2004 aufnehmen will, geht die Teilnahme an der Europäischen Währungsunion (EWU) mit einer Verpflichtung einher. Anders als Großbritannien oder Dänemark können sich die neuen Mitglieder nicht gegen den Euro entscheiden. Sie können lediglich entscheiden wann sie ihn einführen wollen, was prinzipiell bereits zwei Jahre nach der Aufnahme in die EU sein könnte.

Die Anerkennung des Maastricht-Vertrages mit seinen strengen Beschränkungen der Haushalts-, Währungs- und Lohnpolitik, ist offensichtlich weit mehr als nur eine wirtschaftliche Entscheidung. Letzten Endes wird die Überzeugung -oder der Mangel daran-, dass der Beitritt in die EWU starke wirtschaftliche Vorteile nach sich ziehen wird, die Kraft sein, die wahrscheinlich die Entscheidungen leiten wird, ob der Euro so bald wie möglich angenommen wird.

Die EWU gründet sich auf die Idee, deren Wegbereiter der Nobelpreisträger Robert Mundell ist, dass die Kosten und Nutzen der monetären Integration davon abhängen, ob Länder bestimmte Kriterien aufweisen oder nicht. Eine Gruppe von Ländern, die sich durch wirtschaftliche Offenheit, Integration der Handels- und Finanzmärkte, vergleichbare Wirtschaftsstrukturen, Preis- und Lohnflexibilität, Mobilität der Arbeitskräfte und andere Produktionsfaktoren charakterisieren lässt, bildet, dieser Ansicht zufolge, einen Optimum Currency Area (OCA), also einen optimalen Währungsraum.

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