currency union formed by some of the members of the EEC in 1979 that continued, with changing membership, until replaced by the EMU and the euro in 1999.
An arrangement in the 1970s and 1980s where many European countries linked their currencies to prevent large fluctuations in value. It was one of several initiatives leading to the deployment of the Euro.
Established in 1979 by the European Economic Community (EEC-- q.v.), the EMS was created to stabilize currency values because the Bretton Woods system ( q.v.) proved not fully satisfactory. All European Union (EU-- q.v.) countries are EMS members. The EMS is to be succeeded by the European Monetary Union (EMU-- q.v.).