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It has been a long time in the making but scheduled plans have marked January 1 2002 as the date that the new Euro currency banknotes and coins will be introduced in Europe July 1 2002 is the designated day that the changeover to a monetary union will be complete The discussion as to the risks and benefits of this monetary union has been all the talk around the world This union will have vast and far-reaching effects that will touch not only the countries in the union but the entire world There will be a dramatic and radical economic change in Europe All national currencies will disappear and there will be only one money the European Currency Unit or ECUEuropes economy was in shambles after the end of World War II They had invested a lot of money and resources to financing the war In 1948 The United States Secretary of State George C Marshall suggested that the United States should assist Europe in their rebuilding restructuring and reconstruction Offering US capital resources and cooperation to the countries of Europe would accomplish this This was known as the Marshall Plan This plan was very successful right out of the gates In just two years Europe was ahead in industrial production up one hundred and thirty-eight percent from its last year of peace before the war Ball pg138 The United States continued to work with and assist Europe and in 1957 the Treaty of Rome was signed This created the European Community EC or as it is otherwise known as The European Economic Community EEC The premise behind this union was that if the countries of Europe were liked and dependent on each other financially there would be less of a chance of them going to war again with each other The European Community began with just six members They were Belgium Germany France Italy Luxembourg and the Netherlands Following afterwards were the countries
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