“The euro is here. Our mission has been fulfilled. So we are dissolving the Association for the Monetary Union of Europe”, according to Ιtienne Davignon, the President of AMUE.
The member firms of AMUE, set up in 1987 “to ensure the monetary stability indispensable to the success of the European common market”, have effectively recognized “the great success represented by the arrival of the euro in people’s everyday lives.”“With the single currency, firms established in the euro zone are from now on freed from exchange rate risk and the costs of managing it for more than half their international trade transactions, because intra-European trade will from now on be done in euros. The credibility of the European Central Bank has brought price stability, interest rate reductions and, following the terrorist actions of 11 September, the protection of Europe from the monetary turbulence which would have hit it without the single currency. The transparency of prices expressed in euros will give a fresh boost to competition.” “The disappearance of monetary frontiers between 12 countries, the reduction of risk premia, and the transparency of prices will increase the competitiveness of firms established in the euro zone, and make it possible to harvest the benefits expected from the Single European Market. The new more competition-friendly environment favours consumers. It should attract more foreign investors to the euro zone.” Members companies and banks of AMUE employ altogether about 8.000.000 workers in the 15 countries of the European Union. AMUE, a non-governmental organization, has worked closely with the European and national public authorities on the preparation of the Maastricht Treaty, and has subsequently made numerous proposals to ease the transition to the euro and to prepare businesses for it. Beyond the circle of its members, AMUE has distributed more than 4.000.000 guides to businesses and contributed to more than 1,300 conferences and seminars in 30 countries, to explain the euro. AMUE’s first President was Cor van der Klugt, President of the Philips Group. He was succeeded in 1991 by Ιtienne Davignon, President of Sociιtι Gιnιrale de Belgique. Bertrand de Maigret has run the association for 15 years since its foundation. Its members would like to pay tribute to him for his essential contribution. “Economic and Monetary Union is not yet complete”, according to AMUE. “It remains to improve the economic governance of the euro zone by means of better coordination between the 12 member States. Much remains to be done to harmonize financial markets, to eliminate structural rigidities, and to make the labour market more flexible; the physical arrival of the euro in every household will create a stronger common consciousness of belonging to the European Union. Pride in belonging to a continent more united by its currency and open to international competition should facilitate the reforms necessary for increased growth and employment.”
AMUE will disappear before 1 May 2002. Its members will be guided towards various existing organizations if they wish to continue to support the process of European integration, particularly the enlargement of the euro zone to other countries.