A tale of two treatises: the Werner and Delors Reports and the birth of the euro

Focusing on the Werner and Delors Reports, this essay aims to capture key ideas and debates, giving a chronological overview of the EMU process

Publishing date
14 February 2024
Ivo Maes

In the process towards European economic and monetary union, two reports played crucial roles. The 1970 Werner Report argued for both a supranational monetary pillar and a supranational economic pillar, while the 1989 Delors Report focused on the monetary pillar, and there was scepticism about discretionary fiscal policy. A background paper to the Delors Report, The Werner Report Revisited, identified four weaknesses of the Werner Report: absence of internal momentum, institutional ambiguities, insufficient constraints on national policies and an inappropriate policy conception – issues that remain very much on the European Union agenda today.

The author would like to thank all those who contributed to this essay, especially Grace Ballor, Marco Buti, Zsolt Darvas, Jacques de Larosière, Stephen Gardner, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Francesco Papadia, Lucio Pench, André Sapir, Anthony Teasdale, Nicolas Véron, Jeromin Zettelmeyer and the participants in the Bruegel Research Meeting and the April 2023 conference ‘Economic Thought and the Making of the Euro’ (European University Institute).

About the authors

  • Ivo Maes

    Ivo Maes is a Visiting fellow at Bruegel and a Professor and Robert Triffin Chair at KU Leuven. He has been a visiting professor at Duke University (USA), the Université de Paris-Sorbonne and the Università Roma Tre. He retired as a Senior Advisor at the Economics and Research Department of the National Bank of Belgium in 2021. From May 2015 to June 2018, Ivo served as the President of the Council of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought. In 2003, he was a member of the Committee for Institutional Reform of the West African Monetary Union.

    He has published extensively on European monetary integration and the history of central banking. His latest book is Robert Triffin : A Life (with Ilaria Pasotti, Oxford University Press, 2021, Best Book Award of the Italian and the European societies for the History of Economic Thought). He has a Ph.D. in Economics from KU Leuven and a M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics.

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