The euro, a symbol of European identity, is one of the strongest tangible symbols of European integration and the shared values of Europe, the European nations and Europeans themselves.
The history of the European Union has been one of growing integration between Member States, covering a huge range of social, economic and political issues. Many of the initiatives for integration have been aimed at building the single market and allowing goods, people, capital and services to move freely within the Union.
Significantly, implementation of the single currency was not only an economic decision; it was also a political commitment by the EU Member States to work together. This commitment is shown in the great efforts that were made by the Member States to achieve economic convergence before adopting the euro.
Economic and Monetary Union is based on the Member States' commitment to work together. This is possible through a number of mechanisms that facilitate policy coordination and close co-operation. One example is the Eurogroup that brings together euro-area ministers, while another is the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) which helps promote common solutions to shared problems and opportunities.
Along with more political integration, the euro is also part of building a European identity among its citizens, alongside the national identities that preserve European diversity. Indeed, the ‘united in diversity’ nature of the European Union is also seen in the euro coins, with common designs on one side and a country-specific design on the other.