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Continental Drift: Is the Euro’s fixed exchange rate regime undermining cohesion policy?

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“The ravages of two world wars and advantages attainable from a united Europe resulted in a continuous process of economic and political union in the half century following the Second World War. By the end of the 20th Century, this culminated in the establishment of the European Central Bank and Euro currency. Despite the enormous benefits associated with the formation of the European Monetary Union (EMU), critics of the EMU outlined numerous deficiencies which were rapidly brought to light during the 2010 European debt crisis. Furthermore, European cohesion policies seeking to balance economic growth, development and competitiveness across the European Union remain largely ineffectual given the fundamental structural inadequacies of the EMU which lacks fiscal federalism in the absence of a floating exchange rate mechanism. This dissertation seeks to identify the degree to which the EMU distorted currency values and determine whether these distortions are contributing to the spatial disparities in economic growth and development found across Europe with particular attention being paid to the North-South divide. It is argued that cohesion policy will continue to be undermined until the distortions in national competitiveness are fully addressed.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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