Although all 28 Member States participate in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) to some degree, at its heart is the euro area – from the initial 11 at the launch of the new currency in 1999, it has grown to 19 countries today. All but two of the remaining Member States (Denmark and the United Kingdom) are formally committed to steering their economies towards joining the euro area, meeting the convergence criteria required. Whilst the monetary side of EMU was strong from the outset, the economic dimension has seen major developments in recent years. In particular, putting in place tools for ‘economic governance’, and strengthening the EU’s instruments for fiscal surveillance through the Stability and Growth Pact was seen as essential in the wake of the economic crisis.
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