Romania and the euro
The low per-capita income on average represents the biggest issue regarding Romania's real convergence in view of joining the Eurozone (EZ), however, it's not a a formal criterion for euro accession, experts with the European Central Bank (ECB) believe.
The National Bank of Romania (BNR) has a balanced approach to the adoption of the euro, BNR governor Mugur Isarescu said on Tuesday, mentioning that this requires a high real convergence, as well as keeping the pace after Romania joins the eurozone.
The euro turned 20 years old on January 1, 2019. On January 1, 1999, after years of preparations, 11 member-states of the European Union agreed to use the same currency in all monetary transactions among themselves, an initiative that marked the official launch of the euro. The euro's introduction in physical form, as coins and banknotes, however, took place on January 1, 2002.
In its latest Convergence Report released on Tuesday, the European Central Bank (ECB) concluded that Bulgaria does not fully comply with the euro convergence criteria.
Apart from Bulgaria, the report examine the six other member states which do not participate in the exchange rate mechanism (ERM II), namely the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden.
Romania's membership of the single currency area will not be possible in 2019, as planned, and further delay must be taken into consideration as the euro project's solidity is tested by the Greek crisis, Romanian analysts say.
President Klaus Iohannis said a "national consensus" was needed in Romania about joining the eurozone, as was "a rigorous calendar of economic, monetary, legislative and institutional measures.
"That's why we should soon start consultations with all political parties to reach a consensus on this issue," he added.