The plenary session of the European Parliament joined the criteria recently expressed by the leaders of the European Union (EU) and also gave its approval to Croatia entering the euro zone in 2023, after verifying that it meets all the criteria to join it.
Specifically, the European Parliament adopted with a large majority – 539 votes in favour, 45 against and 48 abstentions – the report in favor of Croatia’s entry into the euro zone drawn up by the Romanian MEP of the European People’s Party (EPP) Siegfried Muresan, The institution reported in a statement.
“The reforms adopted by the Croatian government in recent years have strengthened the economy and opened the way for Croatia to adopt the common currency,” said Mursean, who believed that “becoming a member of the euro zone is a good decision for the country, its companies and its citizens”.
The MEPs highlight in the text that Croatia has achieved a positive evaluation in a complicated economic context derived from the pandemic crisis, the current high inflation and the Russian war in Ukraine.
In addition, the report emphasizes that the Balkan country “already presents a higher level of price convergence with the euro zone than that of other Member States at the time of their accession” to the common currency,
The endorsement of the European Parliament comes after the heads of state and government of the EU certified at their last summit that the Balkan country meets all the requirements to adopt the euro in 2023, as the European Commission had proposed ( EC).
The opinion of the MEPs is one more step in a procedure that also includes a positive opinion by the European Central Bank (ECB). After the vote, the EU Economy and Finance Ministers (Ecofin) can now formally approve the accession at their next meeting on July 12.
The Community Executive confirmed on June 1 that, after two years in the prelude to the euro – the so-called ERM II mechanism that links the exchange rate of the national currency with that of the community -, Croatia meets the requirements to adopt the single currency .
These require stability in the exchange rate, the price level, and long-term interest rates, as well as having solid public finances.
Zagreb has also had to approve measures in the fight against money laundering, public companies, insolvency legislation or business environment to ensure its entry into the eurozone and, once the decision has been formally approved, it will have to ensure that everything is ready to effectively use the currency from January 1, 2023.
Croatia’s is the first expansion of the eurozone since the union of Lithuania in 2015 and, after it, the closest partner to join would be Bulgaria, which is in ERM II and aspires to take the euro in 2024.
However, all EU partners with the exception of Denmark, which negotiated an exception, are called to join the project started in 1999.