On the occasion of the 20th birthday of the introduction of the Euro as Europe’s common currency on 1 January 1999, Udo Bullmann, president of the Group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, stated:
"The Euro is one of the great achievements of European integration. As a project, it is inextricably linked with the names great Europeans such as Jacques Delors, François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl. With the subsequent introduction of the Euro cash, Europe has entered the consciousness of ordinary people in a way not known before. Fighting for the success of this project is at the same time an expression of responsibility before history, and the dictate of economic reason.
"Whether consumers or businesses, we all benefit from the replacement of national currencies and the elimination of related exchange rate fluctuations. Not only traveling in a united Europe has become a lot easier. As a result of the introduction of the common currency, the European integration of our economy was also able to push into new spheres.
"Despite the festive mood - of course we do not forget that the Euro system has been and still is very vulnerable. The deep economic and sovereign debt crisis that has left its mark on the first half of this decade has demonstrated this more than clearly. The Euro finally needs a stable foundation that can only exist in more common financial and economic policies. Germany too can and must do more to create this prerequisite for future prosperity.
“Europe needs a strong impetus for growth for all. We cannot allow only a few countries to benefit massively while others fall behind. A stable monetary union cannot do without powerful instruments to prevent and manage crises. These include a common budget for stabilisation and a real European economic government, including a common tax policy.”