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CONTENT 1 Introduction2 2The Monetary Union2 21 Advantages of a single currency2 22 Disadvantages of a single currency3 23 Conclusions for the Eurozone4 3The British Perspective5 31 Reasons against joining5 32 Reasons for joining6 33 Conclusions for Britain7 Bibliography8 1INTRODUCTION The idea of a single currency has already been mentioned in 1957 when the European Union was founded During the following years several discussions about a Monetary Union took place but without any achievements The first steps towards the EMU were only made in 1992 when the members of the EC met in Maastricht A timetable for the development of the EMU was created there In the years after the treaty the preparation began In 1999 exchange rates were irrevocably fixed and transactions started to be possible in Euros The Eurozone consisted of 11 member states at this time Greece became the 12th member in 2001 In December 2001 inhabitants of the Eurozone could get so-called starter-kits containing Euro-coins In January 2002 also banknotes were introduced and in March 2002 the national currencies became invalid Barber and Naimark 2001 2THE MONETARY UNION Since the foundation of the European Monetary Union in 1992 there have always been arguments for and against a single currency Despite all criticism the Euro is reality in twelve countries now This fact has both advantages and disadvantages 21 Advantages of a single currency The most obvious positive argument for the Euro is that transaction costs are saved This concerns people who are travelling abroad within the Eurozone but above all firms that import or export to other EMU countries Wren-Lewis 2001 For firms that import or export much the transaction costs are sizable and are partly passed on to consumers through higher prizes Eudey 1998
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