The first stage of EMU, which ended in December 1973, was far from successful. Common guidelines for policy adopted by the Council of Ministers, whenever they were anything more than very vague and general recommendations, were only honoured in the breach. One month after the end of the first stage, with five EEC currencies floating jointly and the remaining four floating independently, stable exchange relationships were remembered as one of the good things of the past. The European Monetary Co-operation Fund, when it came at last into life after long and controversial debates, was not much more than a plate on a door in Luxembourg. As far as capital movements are concerned, regressive steps had been taken if compared with the degree of liberalisation achieved in the 1960s.