When Can We Expect Croatian Eurozone Membership? Earliest Date Revealed

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, Croatian Eurozone membership can officially begin on January the 1st, 2023 at the absolute earliest, and the biggest advantages of the country’s adoption of the common European currency could be in the form of export-oriented companies within the area. The above was discussed at a recent conference on the matter organised by the student association Financial Club in Zagreb.

“Whether or not Croatia will enter the Eurozone on January the 1st, 2023 or a year or two later, all depends on when we’ll manage to meet the nominal convergence criteria,” said Croatian National Bank (HNB/CNB) Governor Boris Vujcic, recalling that Croatia did successfully join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERMII) last summer. The Governor noted that ERM II membership requires EU member states to spend at least two years within the mechanism, often known as the Eurozone’s ”waiting room”.

If Croatia fails to meet the nominal convergence conditions of the so-called Maastricht criteria – a stable exchange rate, stable interest rates, a budget deficit and level of public debt, a country can then end up spending an unlimited period of time in the ERM II, as opposed to just a couple of years.

Vujcic referred to the research which revealed residents of Croatia are most afraid of falling living standards due to rising prices upon the realisation of Croatian Eurozone membership. Research in the countries that have already adopted the euro shows that this isn’t actually a justified fear because in the year of the introduction of the euro, prices rose by an average of a mere 0.23 percentage points.

Economy Minister Tomislav Coric said that potentially the biggest winners from the country’s introduction of the euro could be Croatia’s exporters, given the disappearance of any currency risk. He pointed out that Croatian Eurozone membership is not a mere means to an end in itself, but instead is a very good tool for long-term economic growth, stability and development.

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