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By D. C. Kruse, François Duchene

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Economic and monetary unification was motivated by the belief that it could be a means of furthering political integration, not that it would result in political union. There was no suggestion of any rigid link between progress in these two endeavours, depending as they did on different factors. It follows as a corrollary therefore that political union was seen as being achieved only as a result of a conscious and explicit decision on the part of the member states. This same view that progress in European integration would have to be founded on the support of the Community countries permeates the Treaty of Rome.

The first signs of trouble on the balance of payments began appearing in early 1968. The French current account, which recorded a surplus of almost FFr 600 million in the first quarter, moved sharply into the red, registering a 6 second quarter and over FFr 3000 million in deficit of FFr 1200 million in the both the third and the fourth . In Germany, the current account surplus declined until fourth quarter 1968, but the persistent surplus of more than D M 1500 million marks per quarter during a period of high domestic demand was causing growing concern to the authorities,7especially as the economy approached the limits of its productive capacity .

The exchange crises of 1967-69 revealed both the value and the limitations of the existing forms of co-operation. In terms of aid provided, the results were impressive: Germany alone provided Britain with bilateral and multilateral assistance totalling over D M 2000 million in 1967, as well as making a D M 1600 million line of credit available in 1968. In addition, the 4 6 placed D M 4500 million at the disposal of the French authorities Bundesbank 4 7 was made in 1 9 6 8 . All told over $ 3000 million in international support available to France, of which more than half was actually used .

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