To be charitable, you could say the euro has proved itself merely by surviving until its 20th birthday this January. That is a low bar.
Monetary union has otherwise failed as an economic and political endeavour. The evidence of Europe’s ’Lost Decade’ is that it can only ever be made to work under a regime of technocrat Caesaropapism, that is to say by stripping elected parliaments of their lifeblood control over taxation, spending, and the core economic policies of the nation state.
“One day, the house of cards will collapse,” says Professor Otmar Issing, the founding chief economist of the European Central Bank and the chastened prophet of the euro project.
The London School of Economics has assembled package of papers by illuminati from Europe and North America to mark this week’s anniversary, published by the journal Comparative Political Studies.
Mark Copelovitch, Jeffry Frieden, and Stefanie Walter do not pull their punches in the prologue. The calamitous EMU saga has led to the “most serious economic crisis in the history of the European Union”. It has done “more lasting damage” to swaths of Europe than the Great Depression of the 1930s, and pitted eurozone states against each other in a bitter struggle for control over the levers of policy.