Thursday

21st Feb 2019

Slovakia set to get green light for euro entry

Slovakia is next week to receive the green light to become the 16th member state of the eurozone, according to a draft report seen by EUobserver.

In the report, the European Commission confirms that the country has met all the conditions to switch to the euro on 1 January 2009.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • The EU commission is to suggest that Slovakia be admitted to the eurozone (Photo: European Community)

"In its convergence Report, the commission concludes that amongst the assessed member states only Slovakia fulfils the conditions for the adoption of the euro," says the draft document, set to be presented on 7 May.

The convergence report evaluates the economic and fiscal policy development of the EU member states which are not part of the bloc's monetary union. While the UK and Denmark have an exemption from the euro, the remaining countries of the 27-nation EU have a legal obligation to join.

The 5.3- million strong Slovakia officially applied for approval of its euro entry in early April, after several years of adopting concrete measures to meet the planned 2009 entry.

In its draft report, the commission says "the budget deficit in Slovakia has seen a credible and sustainable reduction to below 3 percent of GDP," and its average inflation rate "is well below the reference value, and it is likely to remain below the reference value in the months ahead, albeit with a narrowing margin."

The levels of inflation in Slovakia was previously regarded as the most sensitive area of the Slovak candidacy, with Brussels urging Bratislava until the last minute to make more lasting cuts in the budgetary deficit to prevent future inflation hikes.

"We have said several times to Slovak authorities that the fiscal stance of the Slovak policies is not as ambitious as desirable. Fiscal consolidation should be more ambitious so as to help the authorities fight inflation more successfully," Joaquin Almunia, the EU's economy commissioner said at a press conference on Monday (28 April).

But the draft paper set to be adopted next week confirms that Brussels will assess the country as meeting all the criteria in a sustainable way.

EU finance ministers will react to the commission's recommendation in June. Later that month, EU leaders are expected to rubber-stamp the decision while in July the conversion exchange rate should be adopted by EU finance chiefs.

If it gets the final go-ahead, Slovakia should join the EU as it celebrates the 10th anniversary of the introduction of euro in 11 states in 1999.

Feature

Romania enlists priests to promote euro switchover plan

Romania is due to join the single currency in 2024 - despite currently only meeting one of the four criteria. Now the government in Bucharest is enlisting an unlikely ally to promote the euro to the public: the clergy.

Vestager says 'no' to Siemens-Alstom mega-merger

The EU blocked the merger of the makers of Germany's ICE and France's TGV trains, citing concerns of reduced competition and extra costs for consumers and taxpayers. The two countries now want to change the rules.

'Robin Hood' measure in CAP seems doomed

Commission wanted farmers' EU subsidies to be capped at €100,000, with payouts they would have received beyond that redistributed to smaller farms. But member states oppose the idea.

Opinion

Eastern Europe Matters

The foreign ministers of Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic reflect on 10 years of the Eastern Partnership with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  2. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  3. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  5. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  7. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  8. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups

Latest News

  1. EU commission appeals Dieselgate ruling
  2. 'No burning crisis' on migrant arrivals, EU agency says
  3. 'No evidence' ECB bond-buying helped euro economy
  4. Juncker: Orban should leave Europe's centre-right
  5. College of Europe alumni ask rector to cut Saudi ties
  6. EU says Hungary's anti-Juncker campaign is fake news
  7. Trump right for once: Europe should take back foreign fighters
  8. EU should clarify rules for plant burgers and lab meat

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us