It is ten years since the decision was taken to go ahead with a single currency for Europe, the euro. On 1 January 2009, the euro will be ten years old. Like the process of European integration as a whole, Economic and Monetary Union was a simultaneously visionary yet pragmatic project. A major step towards fulfilling the ideal of an 'ever closer union' among the peoples of Europe, it was achieved through close coordination and convergence of economic policies, and careful technical preparations among the EU countries.
Ten years on, it is a historic achievement of which all Europeans can be proud. Not only is such a currency union unprecedented in history; we can declare it a resounding success. Within the space of a decade it has clearly become the second most important currency in the world; it has brought economic stability; it has promoted economic and financial integration, and generated trade and growth among its members; and its framework for sound and sustainable public finances helps ensure that future generations can continue to benefit from the social systems that Europe is justly famous for. At the same time, the internal functioning of EMU and its external representation could be strengthened.
I am therefore very pleased to welcome you to this website dedicated to the euro and Economic and Monetary Union on its tenth anniversary. Whether you are an economist, a journalist, a student or an interested visitor, there is something for you here. I invite you to have a look around.
Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs