Bulgaria edges closer to joining euro

Valdis Dombrovskis on 12 July 2018. [Council]

Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest country, moved a step closer to joining the euro yesterday (12 July).

After a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) said an evaluation could be completed in “around a year”.

“The European Commission welcomes Bulgaria’s efforts to join the eurozone,” Latvian Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President of the European Commission told a news conference.

“We might expect the ECB to complete its overall assessment in around a year,” added members of the eurozone in a statement.

Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said earlier this year that with one of the lowest debt levels in the EU, fiscal surpluses and manageable inflation, Bulgaria met all the criteria for joining the euro.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said in April Bulgaria hoped to enter the two-year “waiting room” to join the euro within a year.

The Commission has raised an additional condition to Bulgaria, that it would first join the EU’s Banking Union and the EU’s Exchange Rate Mechanism ERM2, also called “Eurozone waiting room”, only after. The Bulgarian position is that it should enter ERM2 first, and “the next day” the country would file an application for the Banking Union.

Bulgaria to launch joint application to euro waiting room and Banking union

Bulgaria will seek to join both the eurozone’s waiting room and the bloc’s banking union within a year, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said on Tuesday (12 June).

Now the compromise is that Bulgaria will apply to ERM2 and to the Banking Union simultaneously.

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