Explaining the Dominance of German Preferences in Recent EMU Decisions
On 12 October 1993, the German Constitutional Court ruled that the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht Treaty) was constitutional and that President von Waizsäcker could sign the Treaty at last. With the final member state's assent, the TEU entered into force on 1 November 1993 and committed the member states to creating a common currency by 1999 at the latest. The path to Economic and Monetary Union was clear and codified, or so it seemed. In reality, although the large issues certainly had been settled (and settled mainly in accordance with the German Bundesbank's preferences), many of the smaller issues regarding the implementation of EMU had either been left deliberately vague in the Treaty in order to facilitate agreement or not specified at all. Once the Treaty entered into force and moved out of the spotlight, decisions about EMU continued to be made in the EU's institutional forums, the Monetary Committee, the Committee of Central Bank Governors, and the finance ministers meetings.
The focus of this chapter is the role of Germany in negotiations on the implementation of EMU after the TEU was signed. The emphasis on Germany is deliberate and results from two factors: Many accounts of the EMU negotiations 1 demonstrate that Germany was instrumental in structuring the details of the final agreement, and the role of the recently unified Germany in the European Union generally is of interest to many scholars, not simply those who study Germany. An analysis of Germany's negotiating style in the EMU implementation discussions sheds light on Germany's actions in other negotiations when it believes its vital national interests are at stake. Whether the outcome of negotiations on other issues will be similar to those of the EMU implementation negotiations remains to be seen. It is clear, however, that in this case German preferences were predominantly institutionalized. A closer view of Germany's role is therefore instructive in how a unified Germanycan act, not necessarily how it will act in other negotiations.
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Publication information: Book title: Deepening and Widening. Contributors: Pierre-Henri Laurent - Editor, Marc Maresceau - Editor. Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publisher, Inc.. Place of publication: Boulder, CO. Publication year: 1998. Page number: 263.
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