Roy, Joaquin and Kanner, Aimee. (2002) The Euro: A Seminar on the New Common Currency. Working Paper Series, Vol. 2 No. 1, January 2002. [Working Paper]
(From the introduction). Nearly ten years after the signing of the Treaty of Maastricht, the euro is in our pockets and in the hearts of our fellow citizens. The operations for the introduction of the euro carried out in these first two weeks have developed extraordinarily well, surpassing our most optimistic forecasts. Europeans have demonstrated enthusiasm and responsibility and all those involved in the changeover have shown resolve and determination. The launching of the euro on 1 January 2002 is the culmination of a project on which we have worked for many years. The public may tend to think that Europe is built at a slow pace. From a historical perspective, however, its speed is surprising. The Member States needed ten centuries to achieve monetary unification in each of their territories, but the Community has arrived at the single currency in a period of just over 40 years. I should like to pay tribute here to the men and women who have made the success of this project possible. There are many of them, and this morning some of them have been mentioned. I am not going to repeat their names, which are in everyone's mind. But the project, if I may express it in this way, has not only fathers, it also has mothers and I should like to single them out in one specific person, Christa Rantzio Platz, who personifies the involvement with and the commitment to the euro of this Parliament and of its Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. We have worked closely together until now and I hope that we can continue to do so in order to take further steps in the task ahead of us. This is why I would like to stress that the introduction of euro notes and coins is not just the culmination of a project. It is also the start of a new era in the history of the building of Europe. The physical reality of the euro gives us the opportunity to make further progress in the process of European integration, which I shall mention later on.
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