The Werner Committee and European Economic and Monetary Integration in the 1970s -Theoretical Debates and Political Networks

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
WMB - Gannochy Seminar Room 3 (University of Glasgow)
Elena Danescu , DEIS, University of Luxembourg
The work of the Werner Committee, which resulted in a plan for EMU (the Werner Report), was characterised by political and doctrinal differences between ‘economists’ and ‘monetarists’. At issue was the question of whether monetary integration was the means or the ultimate goal of economic integration. The ‘monetarists‘ (France, Belgium, Italy) plaided for ‘institutions‘ arguing that the priority should be to set up institutions and lay down requirements to be met. After that, there would be a coordinating of economic policies, driven forward by concerted action on the single currency. The ‘economists‘ (Germany, the Netherlands) belived that a convergence of economic (monetary and budgetary) policies was vital and must come before the setting up of institutions and a single currency would come only at the end of the process. This dispute was ultimately resolved by the adoption of a parallel approach between economic cooperation and monetary coordination in the Member States and Pierre Werner (PM of Luxembourg and chairman of the committee) was able to secure a consensus.

Based on previously unpublished archives, this paper analyse the negotiations within the Werner Committee, namely the relationships between members, personal connections, affinities and oppositions, the influence of the states they represented, their theoretical and methodological input; their contribution to the political consensus. The paper demonstrates how transnational, network-based cooperation led to the emergence of a monetary elite, which had a significant influence both on the transfer of political ideas and solutions within the Member States and also on the decision-making process at supranational level in the area of European economic and monetary integration in the 1970s.

  • 2017July 1st_CES Glasgow_ PAPER danescu on WERNER COMMITTEE.pdf..pdf (376.4 kB)