Economic and monetary union

An economic and monetary union is a type of trade bloc that features a combination of a common market, customs union, and monetary union. Established via a trade pact, an MCU constitutes the sixth of seven stages in the process of economic integration. An MCU agreement usually combines a customs union with a common market. A typical MCU establishes free trade and a common external tariff throughout its jurisdiction. It is also designed to protect freedom in the movement of goods, services, and people. This arrangement is distinct from a monetary union, which does not usually involve a common market. As with the economic and monetary union established among the 28 member states of the European Union, an MCU may affect different parts of its jurisdiction in different ways. Some areas are subject to separate customs regulations from other areas subject to the MCU. These various arrangements may be established in a formal agreement, or they may exist on a de facto basis. For example, not all EU member states use the Euro established by its currency union, and not all EU member states are part of the Schengen Area. Some EU members participate in both unions, and some in neither.
Territories of the United States, Australian External Territories and New Zealand territories each share a currency and, for the most part, the market of their respective mainland states. However, they are generally not part of the same customs territories.


Several countries initially attempted to form an MCU at the Hague Summit in 1969. Afterward, a "draft plan" was announced. During this time, the main member presiding over this decision was Pierre Werner, Prime Minister of Luxembourg. The decision to form the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union was accepted in which later became part of the Maastricht Treaty.

Processes in the European MCU

The EMU involves four main activities.
The first responsibility is to be in charge of implementing effective monetary policy for the euro area with price stability. There is a group of economists whose only role is studying how to improve the monetary policy while maintaining price stability. They conduct research, and their results are presented to the leaders of the EMU. Thereafter, the role of the leaders is to find a suitable way to implement the economists' work into their country's policies. Maintaining price stability is a long-term goal for all states in the EU, due to the effects it might have on the Euro as a currency.
Secondly, the EMU must coordinate economic and fiscal policies in EU countries. They must find an equilibrium between the implementation of monetary and fiscal policies. They will advise countries to have greater coordination, even if that means having countries tightly coupled with looser monetary and tighter fiscal policy. Not coordinating the monetary market could result in risking an unpredictable situation. The EMU also deliberates on a mixed policy option, which has been shown to be beneficial in some empirical studies.
Thirdly, the EMU ensures that the single market runs smoothly. The member countries respect the decisions made by the EMU and ensure that their actions will be in favor of a stable market.
Finally, regulations of the EMU aid in supervising and monitoring financial institutions. There is an imperative need for all members of the EMU to act in unison. Therefore, the EMU has to have institutions supervising all the member states to protect the main aim of the EMU.

Roles of national governments

The economic roles of nations within the EMU are to:

Previous EMUs