The European Commission has prepared a draft decision for the EU Council, according to which Slovakia should become the sixteenth EU member of the eurozone as of next year. According to information acquired by the SITA newswire, based on Slovakia's fulfilment of the Maastricht criteria, the EC proposes to the EU Council that with effect from January 1, 2009, Slovakia would be obliged to use the euro instead of the Slovak crown as its currency. In their accession agreements, Slovakia as well as other new EU members pledged upon joining the European Union in 2004 to adopt the euro, and thus in theory can use local currencies only temporarily. The European Commission proposed that the EU Council add the Slovak Republic to the list of eurozone members as of January 1, 2009 in its directive on euro introduction.
The European Parliament has yet to deal with these EC proposals and the overall convergence report, based on which the EC recommended that Slovakia be admitted to the eurozone. However, the European Parliament's role in the process is merely advisory. The convergence reports of the EC and the European Central Bank will be on the agenda of EU finance ministers on June 2 and 3. The EU Council at the level of heads of states and governments will discuss the EC’s proposals on June 19-20. Finance ministers should then make the formal decision on Slovakia's admission into the Economic and Monetary Union at a July 8 meeting when they are expected to fix the final conversion rate between the Slovak crown and the euro. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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14. May 2008 at 20:00