The euro is one of the most important projects that the European partners have committed to since the foundation of the European Union. The common currency is a symbol for European integration. It gives Europe a unique opportunity to have a global voice. The global financial crisis and the European sovereign debt crisis gave us a clear lesson: structural problems in individual member states can cause severe economic repercussions across the EU.
However, the crisis in the eurozone is not a crisis of the euro itself. It is a sovereign debt crisis, a banking crisis and a competitiveness crisis combined. The roots of which lie in a series of inter-related issues starting with unsustainable fiscal policies all over Europe, lack of economic reforms and inadequate regulation of financial and labour markets. These were weaknesses which magnified the consequences of the global financial crisis that started in 2008.
This leaflet offers an overview of how the euro has transformed the European integration process and the lives of many Europeans since its introduction in 1999. The European member states share rights and duties, opportunities and risks. Each member state has to make its own contribution to the ongoing recovery process. If we succeed in this, the euro offers more opportunities than risks.