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European Monetary System (EMS)

01/01/1979 (Aprox)01/01/1999

European Monetary System

The European Monetary System, abbreviated as EMS, was an exchange rate regime set up in 1979 (and which ended in 1999) to foster closer monetary policy co-operation between the central banks of the Member States of the European Economic Community (EEC). The objective of the EMS was to promote monetary stability in Europe.

The European Monetary System was built on the concept of stable but adjustable exchange rates defined according to the newly created European currency unit (ECU) – a currency basket based on a weighted average of EMS currencies. Within the EMS, currency fluctuations were controlled through the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).

The EMS was a radical new departure because exchange rates could only be changed by mutual agreement between participating Member States and the European Commission – an unprecedented pooling of monetary sovereignty. It was replaced by ERM II (exchange rate mechanism II) at the start of Stage Three of economic and monetary union (EMU) on 1 January 1999 when the single currency was launched.

— Eurostat

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History of the Euro

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Published in 8/01/2020

Updated in 19/02/2021

All events in the topic European Union:


13/12/2007Lisbon Treaty is signedLisbon Treaty is signed
01/12/2009Lisbon Treaty becomes effective
01/01/1981Greece joins
01/01/1986Portugal and Spain join the EEC
01/05/1999Treaty of AmsterdamTreaty of Amsterdam
01/01/200410 new countries join the EU
01/01/2007Bulgaria and Romania join the EU
01/01/2013Croatia joins the EU
25/03/1957Treaty of Rome is signedTreaty of Rome is signed
18/04/1951Treaty of Paris is signedTreaty of Paris is signed
01/01/1979 (Aprox)01/01/1999European Monetary System (EMS)
01/01/1999The euro is launched
01/01/2002Euro coins and banknotes are adoptedEuro coins and banknotes are adopted
14/06/1985Schengen Agreement is signed
26/03/1995Schengen Agreement is effective
19/06/1990Schengen Convention
06/05/1994Inauguration of the EurotunnelInauguration of the Eurotunnel