7th June 2014

Lithuania´s euro adoption backed by the Commission

In its annual convergence report published on 4 June, the European Commission stated that Lithuania is ready to adopt the euro. The Lithuanian government set the date for 1 January 2015 and the Prime Minister has promised to step down if his country does not pass the convergence test and does not adopt the common European currency as planned. Based on the Commission´s and the ECB´s positive evaluation, the Council will vote later in July on the entry of Lithuania in the eurozone. This step is, however, considered to be just a formality. Lithuania unsuccessfully applied for euro adoption in 2006. Back then, it narrowly failed the price stability criterion. The economic crisis of 2008/2009 brought Lithuanian fiscal deficit above the 3% of GDP threshold and therefore postponed euro adoption. According to the current convergence report, Lithuania passed all the criteria very comfortably. It will therefore almost certainly join its Baltic partners, Estonia and Latvia, which already use the euro. Commissioner Rehn commented on this occasion, that beginning in 2015, there will be a Baltic full house in the euro area. This enlargement of the eurozone could be the last one for a longer time. Other countries evaluated in terms of convergence do not fulfil all the criteria. Currently, the only officially set date of planned euro adoption is 2019 by Romania.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic