Planned by the European Community, involving a single market which allows free movement of people, goods, capital and services; formation of the European Monetary Institute, the precursor to the single EC central bank; and a single EC currency.
Economic and monetary union is the process whereby the economic and monetary policies of the Member States of the Union are being harmonized with a view to the introduction of a single currency, the euro. The Treaty on European Union provides that EMU is to be achieved by 1999 at the latest.
Officially determined by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, EMU designates the zone of countries within the European Union who share the same monetary policy and currency - the euro. EMU will begin on 1 January 1999.
The irrevocable fixing of exchange rates between member currencies and their replacement by a single European currency, the euro. The euro is to be issued by a future European central bank, to be independent of political control and federal in nature. All countries which fulfil the five convergence criteria in 1998 will proceed to EMU in 2000. The UK and Denmark have secured opt-outs from EMU. Sweden's joining is subject to ratification by parliament.