This economic history of the European Union firstly outlines the years stretching from the Marshall Plan to the birth of the European Economic Community in 1957: a decade featuring great progress towards European unity, but also many failures (such as the European Defence Community). In its second part, the book deals with international monetary cooperation, the decline of the Bretton Woods system, the creation of the European Monetary System, the monetary union ushered in by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, the role of central banks in individual countries, and the European Central Bank. The last chapter addresses the evolution of EU sectoral policies: reform of the common agricultural policy, cohesion policy among European states and regions, competition policy, support for small and medium enterprises. It ends with an analysis of the costs and opportunities provided by enlargement towards new member-states and the novel challenges of migration policy.
Francesca Fauri teaches Economic History and Contemporary European Economic History at the University of Bologna.