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The Making of a Lopsided Union: Economic Integration in the European Economic Community, 1957-1992


The project investigates European policymakers’ views about how to make the European Economic
Community (EEC) fit for a monetary union. It will thus assess the origins of the issues that are currently
bedevilling the EU.

From the EEC creation in 1957 to the decision to create the euro in 1992, several proposals were tabled
to improve the functioning of the EEC as a possible currency area. Five interconnected domains are crucial
to achieve economic integration in a currency union, and were continuously discussed before 1992:
macroeconomic policy coordination, fiscal transfers, capital market integration, banking regulation, and
deepening of the common/single market. The project will provide the first historical appraisal of these
proposals and debates, and identify the dynamics of political and economic trade-offs and compromises,
shifting priorities, and alternative approaches abandoned at the time but recycled later.
The project intertwines international, legal, political, and economic history approaches in order to
provide a thorough portrait of European policymakers’ paradigms, goals, and constraints in envisioning an
economic union in a changing global context. It relies on pioneering multilateral, multi-archival research
analysing material from all member states and EEC institutions.

The project also intends to encourage the study of the critical influence of non-EEC and non-state actors
and factors on the European decision-making level. To this end, the PI will lead a team of two PhD students
and two Postdocs to explore specific case studies involving commercial banks, big business, trade unions and
the evolution of economic thinking.

The project aims to link the usually insulated scholarships of European integration, postwar European
history, and national histories of economic policymaking. It will shed new light on the EU’s post-Maastricht
evolution and contextualise the Eurozone’s current challenges by providing a deeper understanding of its

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 290 000,00
50014 Fiesole

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Centro (IT) Toscana Firenze
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 290 000,00

Beneficiaries (2)