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Research project

EURECON - The Making of a Lopsided Union: Economic Integration in the European Economic Community, 1957-1992

This project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC)

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 716849)

It is often said that the euro has faults of conception. But how did this happen? How was the euro made in such a way that it nearly completely overlooked some critical aspects of monetary unions? The assumption is that in the run-up to the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, European policymakers just did not think properly about how to make the Euro work. Was this really the case? Did European policymakers really overlook the economic foundations of European monetary union?

The goal of the EURECON project is to explore European policymakers’ views about how to make the organisation of the European Economic Community (EEC) fit for the creation of a single currency, from 1957 to 1992. The project will look at the origins of the issues that are currently bedevilling the EU by investigating the period between the creation of the EEC in 1957 and the decision to create a European single currency in 1992.

Scholars and policymakers alike regularly recognise that the economic foundations of monetary union were inadequate. But the literature generally assumes that European policymakers just did not think carefully about the economic dimension of European monetary union.

The EURECON project starts from the opposite standpoint. EURECON will look at the proposals to develop economic integration as a means to improve the functioning of the EEC as a possible currency area. The project aims to examine these debates and proposals, understand the reasons for their success or failure, identify the dynamics of political and economic trade-offs and compromises, shifting priorities, and alternative approaches that were abandoned at the time but recycled later.

The project will consider all available primary archival sources from all member states over the 1957-1992 period related to these 5 work packages.

PhD and Postdoctoral Researchers will focus on the role of non-state non-EEC actors and factors influencing European policymaking within the context of EEC economic integration. The PhD/Postdoc projects will undertake specific case studies in the following four areas:

  1. commercial banks,
  2. big business,
  3. trade unions,
  4. and the spread/influence of economic ideas on the evolution of European economic cooperation and integration
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