European monetary system and european currency

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A specific channel through which the monetary policy of the ECB and the TARGET system can have a direct impact on the development of the financial markets of the euro area is the requirement to have guarantees or collateral for operations with the ECB. This requirement for adequate collateral can stimulate the process of loan securitisation, especially in the case of the banking institutions of certain financial systems. The underlying assets can be used across borders, which means that a banking institution in a country belonging to the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) can receive funds from its national central bank by pledging assets located in other countries, which is also relevant from the perspective of the integration of the financial markets of the area.

The trend towards further integration of the European financial markets, accompanied by increased use of the euro as a vehicle for international investment, should logically follow a process which would start in the short-term money market, subsequently be expanded into the longer-term money market and finally extend to the public and private bond and equity markets. In the short term there must be a tendency for the differentials in money market interest rates to be eliminated, as the functioning of the market improves, while in the long-term securities markets - both public and private, of course - interest rates will always include a risk premium linked to the degree of solvency of the country (deficit and public debt, commitments on pensions), or to the credit risk of the private issuer, and to the liquidity of the securities.

Economic integration Monetary and financial integration stemming from the euro and the activity of the Eurosystem will affect the operation of the European single market in a positive way. The European market, with a single currency, will tend to be more transparent, more competitive, more efficient and will function more smoothly. This is the reason why joining the European Union, as a general rule, leads to joining the euro area, once certain economic conditions (the so-called convergence criteria) are fulfilled.

The case of Denmark, as you will know better than I, constitutes an accepted exception to the general rule, formalised in Protocol No. 8 on Denmark of the Treaty on European Union signed in Maastricht on 7 February 1992, and in the so-called "Decision concerning certain problems raised by Denmark on the Treaty on European Union" of 11 and 12 December 1992, which contains the notification from Denmark that it would not participate in the third stage of the European Economic and Monetary Union.

However, the Danish krone was in fact pegged to the Deutsche Mark from 1982 until the end of 1998. Furthermore, since 1 January 1999 it has been participating in ERM II with a rather narrow fluctuation band of ±2.25%, and effectively has had an almost fixed exchange rate vis-а-vis the euro. Therefore, the Danish monetary policy, through this exchange rate strategy, is the monetary policy of the Eurosystem. In other words, Denmark follows "the rules of the game" almost entirely, or as the Governor of Danmarks Nationalbank, Ms Bodil Nyboe Andersen, often says, "The Danish krone shadows the euro".

In this connection, and before the question and answer session begins, let me conclude by addressing the following key questions to you, on the understanding that this is a rhetorical way to express my ideas and that I do not necessarily expect any of you to answer them.

If Denmark already is following "the rules of the game", why, then, should you not make use of the advantages of belonging to the Eurosystem? Why, then, should you not participate in the decisions concerning the monetary policy which, in actual fact, applies to Denmark?

(1) For a more detailed analysis, see the article entitled "The international role of the euro", in the August 1999 edition of the ECB's Monthly Bulletin, pp. 31-35.


European Economic and Monetary Union - principles and


Summary of a presentation by Ms Sirkka Hдmдlдinen,

Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank,

The Tore Browaldh lecture 1999,

School of Economics and Commercial Law, Gцteborg University,

Gothenburg, 25 February 1999

The European integration process started shortly after the Second World War and was, at the time, strongly motivated by political factors. The aim was to eliminate the risk that wars and crises would once more plague the continent. The first concrete result was the establishment, in 1952, of the European Coal and Steel Community between six countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands). This was followed by the adoption of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, laying the foundations for the European Economic Community.

Реферат опубликован: 12/08/2008