Economic and Monetary Union


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Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)

a three-stage process for establishing economic and monetary union in the EUROPEAN UNION, proposed by a committee of the European Council in 1989 (although a currency ‘snake’ was a clear precursor). The first stage simply involved the coordination of existing structures and preparation of consequential and necessary amendments to the Treaties. This stage began on 1 July 1990. The next two stages have not been unanimously taken forward: the establishment of the euro, the single European currency, and the establishment of a European central bank. Some Member States have not adopted the single currency. The United Kingdom and Denmark both had an opt-out clause. Sweden, at the time of writing had not met all of the criteria regarding the independence of its central bank. The ten new Member States who joined the Union on 1 May 2004 must adopt the euro as soon as they meet the CONVERGENCE CRITERIA and were not granted an opt-out clause.
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