A Dane in the making of European Monetary Union - A conversation with Niels Thygesen

Working Paper N° 382

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Abstract

Niels Thygesen (born 1934) played for nearly five decades an influential role in the process of economic and monetary integration in Europe. He is especially known as a member of the Delors Committee and as the first Chair of the European Fiscal Board. As part of a research program on collecting memories, this paper publishes the results of several interviews with him. His early life offers insightful observations on Danish attitudes towards Europe and on the development of the economics profession in the postwar years (he was close to Nobel Prize laureates as Franco Modigliani and Milton Friedman). Thygesen’s involvement with the process of European monetary integration really started in 1974 with his membership of the Marjolin Committee (which provided an assessment of the failure of the 1970 Werner Report). Since then he has been involved in a multitude of committees and initiatives, like the OPTICA groups, the All Saints Day Manifesto, the Trilateral Commission, the Committee for Monetary Union in Europe (an initiative of Giscard and Schmidt) and the Euro50 Group.