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22 J. Consumer Pol'y 1 (1999)

handle is hein.journals/jrncpy22 and id is 1 raw text is: Thierry Vissol
The technical work on the euro was started in various quarters, and
obviously in the European Commission, as soon as the Treaty on
European Union was signed in 1992, and was further developed fol-
lowing its ratification. The task initially was to ensure that things
would run smoothly, and it was not until this essential preliminary
work had been completed that a practical scenario for the changeover
could be envisaged and the general public and consumers included
in these discussions. While these two groups of people did not take
a large part in this work, several representatives of the European
consumers' associations were involved in preparing the scenario
adopted by the Madrid Council in December 1995.
In 1996, the Commission set up a Euro Working Group through
its Consumer Committee, which brings together all the families of
consumers' associations and is responsible for providing the
Commission with reasoned opinions on consumer policies and
measures. This Group also included representatives of the European
associations of blind and partially sighted people, the elderly and
the very poor.
In 1997, they were joined by a team of psychologists, sociolo-
gists and experts in people's attitudes to money, of various
nationalities. Their task, in cooperation with the Euro Group of the
Consumer Committee, was to take a closer look at all the psycho-
sociological issues related to the currency and, wherever possible,
to draw practical conclusions about the measures to be taken in order
to facilitate the changeover to the euro for the various population
As soon as it was decided to work with the representatives of con-
sumers and of the various population groups, the task had to be
organised in such a way as to answer three questions:
1. What is the changeover to the euro?
2. What is a currency?
3. What is a consumer?
V Journal of Consumer Policy 22: 1-6, 1999.
© 1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

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