Following the Brexit vote, the many commentators who predicted the de facto end of Europe and what the Spanish
writer Javier Cercas described as “the unique reasonable utopia of Europeans” were, perhaps, a bit too hasty. The European project has experienced many crises and has managed to emerge from them even stronger. During the 1970s, the end of Bretton Woods and the energy crisis generated serious industrial and monetary imbalances. Nevertheless, the decade concluded in 1979 with the birth of the European Monetary System (EMS), which, together with the virtual currency the European currency unit (ECU), laid the foundations for the euro. And the first direct elections to the European Parliament took place.

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