Friday

24th Feb 2017

Poland adopts step-by-step euro entry plan

  • Poland - could become the 17th member of the eurozone (Photo: EUobserver)

The Polish government has adopted a detailed timetable designed to replace the Polish zloty with the euro on 1 January 2012, but question marks remain over a potential referendum on the move.

The four-stage plan will kick off in November when Warsaw appoints a top official to co-ordinate technical and legal preparations. The first stage will culminate in a change to the Polish constitution and formal agreement on Polish entry with the European Commission and EU states in early 2009, PAP reports.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The second phase is to start in June 2009, when Poland pegs zloty fluctuation to the euro in the so-called ERM2 mechanism. The rest of 2009 and 2010 will be spent deciding the design of Polish euro coins and creating a code of ethics to stop businesses hiking prices after the change-over. Eurozone finance ministers will by mid-2011 decide on the final zloty-euro exchange rate.

The third step - in the second half of 2011 - will focus on practical preparations: minting coins, delivering banknotes to shops and banks, tweaking cashpoint machines and IT systems. The year will end with a media campaign and dual display of both zloty and euro prices in Polish shops.

Final adoption, at the start of 2012, will see both currencies in circulation for an as yet undecided spell before the zloty ceases to become legal tender.

It remains unclear when or if a referendum on euro-adoption will be slotted into the timetable and whether it will ask "if" Poland should enter the euro or "when." A negative answer to an "if" referendum would put Poland at odds with its legal commitment to enter the single currency under its 2004 accession treaty.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski on Tuesday (28 October) night said the currency switch could cause inflation and damage small businesses.

But the president took a softer line than his twin brother and leader of the eurosceptic opposition Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who opposes the 2012 date and has called for a referendum on the switch.

"For me it's a matter for discussion. We will reflect deeply on the issue," Mr Lech Kaczynski said, Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza reports, with obstruction by the president or Law and Justice to potentially delay the four steps in the outline.

Poland would become the 17th member of the eurozone in 2012 as things stand, although the three Baltic states - Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia - are already in ERM2 and are likely to make it first.

Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus were the first new EU states to join, with Slovakia to enter in 2009.

Greece and creditors break bailout deadlock

Athens agreed on budget cuts worth up to €3.6 billion and extracted some concessions from creditors, but the IMF warned the package might not be enough.

EU ready to challenge US border tax

The EU is willing to fight any attempt by the Trump administration to impose border tax on imports, says trade commissioner Jyrki Katainen.

News in Brief

  1. Spanish court jails former IMF chief Rato
  2. Macron proposes Nordic-style economic model for France
  3. Germany posts record high budget surplus
  4. Labour ousts Ukip in Brexit homeland
  5. Dutch lower house approves EU-Ukraine treaty
  6. WTO says Russian pork ban was illegal
  7. Belgian nuclear plant made 'significant progress' on safety
  8. Report: Commission gauging EU support for Poland sanctions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EURORDISJoin the Rare Disease Day and Help to Advocate for More Research on Rare Diseases
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  3. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  4. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  5. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  6. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  7. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  9. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  10. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  12. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations