"Notre Europe" chair Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa on the euro, European Parliament Website - 16 March 2010
One of the men considered to be the founding fathers of the euro currency met MEPs on the Foreign Affairs Committee Tuesday (16 March) to talk about transatlantic relations. Tommaso Padoa Schioppa was formerly on the board of the European Central Bank and now chairs the Paris-based think tank "Notre Europe". As the euro goes though choppy waters we caught up with him to ask a few questions about the common currency.
You are often referred to as one of the "founding fathers of the euro"? Has the European currency fulfilled the expectations you had some 25 years ago?
My expectations on the euro have been met fully, it is an enormous success. It provides a high degree of financial stability and the European Central Bank is capable of managing the euro in times of crisis very effectively.
My expectations have not been met in the construction of other European policies, not sufficient progress has been made. So we are still in a condition where the action of the EU is insufficient. But this does not apply to the euro in any sense.
The euro and the US dollar are competing on world markets to be the leading currency. Who will get the upper hand in the long term?
Well, the outlook of the currency system in the long-term is very uncertain. I think that as the world becomes more global and has a number of very big economic actors it is increasingly difficult for the currency of just one country or one region to be the world currency. This is true for the dollar but it would be even true for the euro.
So what is necessary is to develop a new form of international monetary cooperation which is however entirely to be invented, we are still very far from that.
There are still many sceptical voices saying that the euro will eventually fail. Is this a lack of faith or are there real risks which may endanger the common currency?
I think that nobody really thinks that the euro is in any sense in danger. There are of course, in a very wide debate, always various voices, but I see nobody with authority who predicts anything like that and I do not see any sign of that.
On the contrary I see that precisely in this moment there is a growing awareness of the fact that the euro is a common element of strength to which everybody is committed to.
Full text also available in European Parliament Website.