Der Euro und die künftige Gestalt Europas

Werner Weidenfeld

Published: 01.10.1999  〉 Heft 10/1999  〉 Resort: Articles 
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The Euro and the Future Shape of EuropeThe European Union just begins to realize its new role on the world stage which embraces the common single currency on the one hand up to the creation of a common defence policy. The impact of the launch of the single currency is tremendous and will radically alter the face of Europe: the euro will link Europeans in a shared destiny but will also trigger off conflicts of even greater intensity; it will lend the pressure to modernize old fashioned and maybe ill-de signed national structures; thus, it will be the driving force for enhancing Europe's global competitiveness as well as for stimulating growth and employment. Besides its internal impact, the euro will also redefine Europe's role in world politics. With the euro, the EU is on its way to become a superpower. In light of these developments it will be necessary that Europe is able to live up the new opportunities as well as responsibilities, in particular when the euro assumes its position beside the dollar in the global finance system. In doing so, the dynamics of European integration will experience a further push to a deeper and wider integrated Europe. However, it is primarily against this background that the European Union revitalizes transatlantic co-operation structures. The euro will provide impetus for a new era in relations between Europe and America. Which road the European Union chooses to take from here will determine its destiny, both internally and externally, for decades to come. If the Union wants to continue its success story the states of Europe must keep to the path of co-operation - both with one another and with their partners on the other side of the Atlantic. Whether the European Union is going to succeed in this way or not depends upon its willingness as well as ability to find an answer to the question of its final end. The discussion about it is of crucial importance for the continent as a whole - it is likely to be a question of European destiny per se.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Werner Weidenfeld, Centrum für angewandte Politikforschung der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (CAP), Grafingerstraße 2, D-81671 München
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