After Bulgaria and Croatia have already declared their desire to join the Eurozone, Romania is also on its way. Last week, the country officials announced that by the end of the year would present their strategy for membership in the currency union, reverting to the idea she postponed in 2015. This move could help the Balkan countries stay close to the key European Union core, which raises more questions about the future distribution of important development funds.
The plans of the three countries contrasted with the richer parts of the former communist East of the continent. While Slovenia, Slovakia and the Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – use the Euro, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary have no firm plans to join. But for the least influential member states of the EU, the development funds may take years to go, as they seek ways to overcome the enormous difference in wealth and well-being.
The Bulgaria’s stage of preparation is the most advanced. The Bulgarian lev is tied to the euro, and Sofia wants to join the exchange rate mechanism that precedes the membership this summer. Croatia plans to move to the single currency five to seven years later, and Romania has yet to submit its new target date.
Romania targets to reach 70% of the average gross domestic product per capita in the region by 2020 compared to 60% at the moment, according to the latest convergence program. “Setting a specific Euro adoption date requires first in-depth analysis, especially of real structural and institutional convergence”, the government said.
It is not clear yet how their attempts will be accepted. Although Bulgaria fulfills the membership criteria and received the support of German and French leaders, the European Central Bank is less interested in it after the series of financial scandals in Eastern Europe. However, the economies of Croatia and Romania are weaker.
The meeting for the future of the EU, which will be held next spring in Romania, could shed some light on the prospects of the three countries, the editorial concludes.