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The Euro A Patient It was the horror and devastation of the Second World War which gave the impetus to move towards unity in Western Europe However there were and remain divergent views on how this should be achieved to what extent it should be achieved and by when it should be achieved Rodney Leach has stated that since World War 2 there have been two contrasting visions of Europes destiny one of which has come to predominate It could be said that the European Union today is a would-be federation at least halfway towards its goal The movement can only be forward because of its ratchet structure an effect derived from acquis communautaire the doctrine that each step towards integration is irreversible also stemming from the Treaty of Romes paramount aim of even closer union The rival vision of Europe was of allies voluntarily co-operating with only the absolutely necessary common laws It is federalism which has won the upper hand The establishment of a single currency is obviously a vital step if the goal of federation is to be achieved There still remains dispute on what federation actually means The goal for many is total economic and political union As far back as 1970 the Council of Ministers began to prepare plans for full economic and monetary union It appears to have given no consideration to the pros and cons of monetary unions The Council only looked at the routes to achieve monetary union The routes chosen involved as John Mills writes an uneasy marriage of Keynesian and monetarist approaches It is this which helps to explain some of the difficulties which have arisen with the implementation of the Euro The Keynesian economists believed that there should be convergence of economic performance and policies among member states with monetary union to follow when these conditions had been established The monetarists believed that the best way forward was to establish
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