April 19. 2024. 9:15

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Iohannis: No ‘realistic’ deadline for Romania to join eurozone

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday (23 March he does not consider it realistic for Romania to set any deadline for joining the eurozone, days after the government said it was looking to adopt the single currency by 2026.

Asked by EURACTIV on the sidelines of an EU Council in Brussels whether 2026 would be a reasonable or viable deadline for joining the eurozone, Romania’s president replied:

“With overlapping crises, energy crisis, major problems with European industry, we are looking for solutions for European competitiveness, we have high inflation, it is quite complicated to give a deadline. I don’t think it is realistic for Romania at this moment to set any deadline for entering the eurozone”.

The Romanian president’s comment contradicts a statement made by Socialist Finance Minister Adrian Câciu (PSD), who said that Bucharest could join the eurozone by 2026.

“If it applies this National Recovery and Resilience Plan and has a faster absorption of European funds, I believe that by 2026 Romania would have elements of real convergence, but also nominal so that it can begin to enter the antechamber of the euro area,” said Câciu.

Romania wants to push euro adoption by 2026

Romania’s government is looking to adopt the euro by 2026, far earlier than the current plan to join the euro area by 2029, announced Finance Minister Adrian Câciu, adding that for this to happen the National Recovery and Resilience Plan …

Iohannis stressed that Romania does not meet “several pre-accession criteria”.

“I don’t think we meet them now, but as soon as we meet them, we can make plans,” he added.

In June 2022, the European Commission concluded in its Convergence Report that Romania does not fulfil the conditions for adopting the euro.

Every two years, the Commission assesses the progress of non-euro member states towards adopting the single currency, as all member states, except Denmark, have legally committed to joining the euro area.

The latest to join was Croatia, which became the 20th member of the single currency area on 1 January this year. Another eurozone hopeful, Romania’s neighbour Bulgaria, may be on course to join in January 2025, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in Sofia in February.

Four other potential candidates – Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Sweden – have made no concrete plans for joining.