Weltwirtschaftliches archiv-review of world economics vol:132 issue:1 pages:1-27
In this paper, the literature on monetary integration has been surveyed in order to discover the economic rationale of the Maastricht convergence requirements. The traditional theory of optimum currency areas is silent on the need for Maastricht-type convergence requirements. Similarly, the ''new'' view of monetary integration using credibility concepts cannot easily be used to justify these convergence requirements. It is also argued that the dynamics of the convergence requirements will almost certainly lead to a ''Great Divide'' of the European Union. The paper concludes that less emphasis should be put on prior convergence conditions and more on strengthening the functioning of the future monetary institutions in the Union.