The EURO, Eurozone & the European Central Bank Sovereignty
As significantly, the Euro, the ECB and the EUROZONE may result in political changes as well as economic changes. It is impossible to overlook the non-economic implications of such mechanisms. Trade and currency regimes are political instruments as well as economic elements shaping the relationship between states. Issues related to how these mechanisms will influence the structure of the EU speak directly to questions regarding the new model of sovereignty that is being developed. Simple trade associations (e.g., the North American Free Trade Association, MERCOSUR, and s forth) may be largely economic in their effect, but a central bank adds a new element to such relationships as does a single currency.
At issue in the proposed study are several key questions: 1) Does the creation of the Euro and the development of the ECB represent merely a form of financial and banking convenience designed to facilitate trade among member states; and 2) Is the EU now being fragmented into two areas, one consisting of EUROZONE participants and one of those nations abstaining from participation? Each of these questions is related directly to an identification of how new approaches to sovereignty are being created and how sovereignty, as understood from the perspective of the nation-state, is being modified to encompass multiple autonomous states. Regional integration as it is now being created in the EU will certainly change the way in which sovereignty is understood; exploring the kinds of changes that might occur is a significant and timely scholarly activity.