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After years of paralysis during the debt crisis that began in 2009, the European Union seems to have regained some momentum.In Germany, after much delay, the center-left Social Democrats are currently voting on a new coalition agreement with the center-right Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union.The hope now is for renewed Franco-German cooperation and a new Elysee Treaty, updating the historic 1963 agreement negotiated by German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gaulle.The world ended up not just with new institutions, but also with a new way of thinking about social, political, and economic interconnectedness.One promising proposal contained in the German coalition agreement is for a new European Monetary Fund, to be overseen by the European Parliament. Europe, for its part, has long been fixated on Bretton Woods, the 1944 conference in New Hampshire that, among other things, created the International Monetary Fund and a rules-based international monetary system of fixed but adjustable exchange rates. For example, a 1978 initiative by French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing and German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt led to the creation of a European Monetary System with fixed but adjustable exchange rates, and provided for the establishment of an IMF-style European Monetary Fund within two years.
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