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Volume 54, March/April 2019, Number 2 · pp. 65-72

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The Euro – A Tale of 20 Years: What Are the Priorities Going Forward?

Marco Buti, Maya Jollès, Matteo Salto

Flashback to January 1999. On 2 May 1998, European leaders agreed to start the third and ultimate stage of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). On 1 January 1999 the exchange rates towards the common currency euro became irrevocably fixed and the European Central Bank (ECB) assumed responsibility for the monetary policy of a currency union made up of eleven countries and 293 million people. Three years later, the first euro coins and banknotes entered into circulation. The culmination of decades of European economic integration, the introduction of the euro, represents a historic milestone and much more than a monetary reform.

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