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Iozzo, Alfonso; Flor, Elena; Tosolini, Valentina
The ECU and the SDR: Learning from the Past, Preparing the Future
Robert Triffin International and Centro Studi sul Federalismo
November 2014

In June 1980 Robert Triffin organized a seminar at the University of Louvain la Neuve, where he had moved a few years before, after leaving the Yale University, to resume its campaign for a new international monetary system, starting again form the European monetary unification, relaunched by the Werner Report at the beginning of the previous decade.
The meeting, supported by the Ford Foundation, was focused on the private use of the ECU, the new European unit of account introduced with the formula of the “open basket” by the agreements on the European Monetary System, entered into force by a bit more than one year.
Economists but also institutional representatives, both national and European, as well as bankers took part to the seminar. In the following years many of them played key roles in the path towards the Euro.
Triffin’s idea was that the diffusion of ECU-denominated financial assets would have promoted, in many financial and economic fields, but also in the political and institutional environment, the idea that a common currency was not only needed but also feasible.

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