Belgium

Belgium was a member of the Snake and then the EMS, initially with frequent adjustments of its exchange rate, but the exchange rate targeting became increasingly strict in the 1980s and took Belgium into EMU in 1999.

Years Targets and attainment Classification
1974-82 Belgian franc (in one-sided currency union with Luxembourg, decision-making by Belgian monetary authorities) participating in Snake from 1974 (also until 1976 in Benelux narrower margins), then from 1979 in EMS, with devaluations (relative to DM) in 1976, 1978, 1979, 1981 and early 1983; monetary policy operated mainly through direct and indirect instruments affecting bank lending, with interest rates assigned more to exchange rate control, but policy complicated by pressures for monetary financing of budget loose exchange rate targeting LERT
1983-98 participation in EMS with only two small parity changes (1986, 1987); June 1990 announced hardening of peg to DM; temporary widening of fluctuation vs DM in mid- 1993, but return to narrow margins by end-1983; monetary policy operated mainly through interest rates in developed financial markets; central bank finance to government subject to limits from 1991 full exchange rate targeting FERT
1999-2014 membership of European Monetary Union currency union CU

Selected IMF references (before 1983 Belgium and Luxembourg, from 1983 Belgium only): RED 1975 pp50-52; RED 1977 pp40-44, 55; RED 1983 pp52-3, 74-6; SR 1989 pp9-10; SR 1991 pp3, 8-9; RED 1993 pp16-19; RED 1996 p12.

Additional source: Houben (2000, especially pp202-4, 300-301).

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