Summary and main conclusions
The paper deals with the psycho-social consequences of the introduction of the Euro for the citizens, particularly as far as sensitive populations (the blind, the deaf, the learning impaired, the elderly, the socially excluded) are concerned. The paper explores the obstacles which might arise during the successive stages of the introduction of the euro and defines the lines of action that might be undertaken to overcome them.
The study analyses three main issues: building confidence in the new currency, learning of a new monetary code and reconstruction of a price memory. The importance of tailoring the information to the needs of specific groups- especially at regional and local level- is emphasised, as is reassuring consumers on the costs of transition, the absence of negative real price and income effects and the continuity of contracts.
Practical measures are advocated, particularly: dual pricing, counter-marking of national currency, progressive introduction of the euro in cycles of expenditure. The paper concludes by suggesting that observatories on the changeover should be created, that mediators, opinion-leaders and children should play an important role in the transition and that, above all, very close co-operation at all levels should ensure that citizens accept the Euro with as few reservations as possible.