There have been two great drivers towards European Union.
The first has been the overwhelming political desire for peace. The
second has been the movement towards economic integration both to
create stability and wealth, and to underpin the political drive to
bring European countries closer together. The success of the last forty
years has been dramatic. The move to a single market in particular
has been of great benefit.
In voting for the Maastricht Treaty back in 1992, Ireland voted
to strengthen EU economic and monetary co-operation and to
eventually introduce European Monetary Union EMU in Ireland with
a Single European Currency. We do not have an opt-out clause like
UK and Denmark.
Irelands original long standing currency union with sterling
ceased in 1979 as Ireland joined the European JVlonetary System, the
EMU forerunner - while sterling did not.
Monetary Union is another step towards increased E. U.
economic integration. Already this decade we have seen the creation
of the single market with the elimination of intra-EU trade barriers,
the easing and the eventual elimination in January 1993 of Foreign
There is an immense determination in much of Europe that the
single currency will happen on Jan 1 1999, despite the somewhat
unhelpful reactions to certain reports regarding membership criteria
in recent months. Businesses in both the Financial & Industrial
sectors trading in Europe will have to face the reality that EMU is
likely to start on schedule, with major impacts on customers and
business operations. Organisations must consider the strategic and
tactical implications of monetary unification. EMU will have dramatic
and dynamic effects on marketplaces and business success in the
medium term. The conversion to the new currency presents major
challenges for us all. This thesis takes a close look at how EMU will
affect business dealings within Ireland and also Europe.
How increased market size and decreased trade barriers should
present businesses in all sectors with increased opportunities. We
then examine the implications of EMU from within, looking closely at
legal and accounting procedures that have to be amended. Finally this
thesis looks at the preparatory measures which organisations from all
sectors and especially the financial sectors need to address if EMU is
to be a success for them individually.
Even though the predominant tone of this thesis is one of
informed speculation, particularly when not even the members states
who invented the notion know how it is going to evolve, one thing that
is not for speculation is the fact that European Monetary Unification
is going to bring radical and irreversible changes to how businesses
operate. EMU is going to happen and it is up to every organisation to
see that they are not left in the dark.