17:34 / 13.06.2022.

Author: Branko Lozančić

EP rapporteur: Croatia meets all the criteria to replace the kuna with the euro next year

Siegfried Muresan

Siegfried Muresan

Foto: HTV / HRT

The European Parliament's (EP) rapporteur for Croatia's entry into the Eurozone, Siegfried Muresan, said on Monday that Croatia was ready to join the Eurozone, and that parliament should vote on his report in the plenary session in early July.

Siegfried Muresan, who was appointed EP rapporteur for Croatia's entry into the Eurozone in April this year, met with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Zdravko Marić and Croatian National Bank Governor Boris Vujčić as part of his official visit to Zagreb. He also participated in a joint session of the Committee on Finance and the State Budget and the Committee on Regional Development and European Union Funds.

"My conclusion is that Croatia is ready to join the Eurozone," Muresan told a news conference at the House of Europe, adding that Croatia's economy was "well integrated with the Eurozone economy".

Therefore, on Tuesday morning, he will present his report to the EP's Economic and Monetary Policy Committee, in which he will recommend that Croatia join the Eurozone on January 1, 2023, announced Muresan, who comes from Romania and is vice president of the European People's Party (EPP) and the EPP MEPs' Club, in which he is serving a second term.

The Committee is expected to vote on Mureşan's report on 20 June, after which it is due to meet at the EP's plenary session in Strasbourg between 4 and 7 July.

Muresan expects a "significant majority" in favor of the report, adding that the goal is to "give Croatia the green light as soon as possible", believing that Eurozone membership is good for Croatia, its businesses and citizens, as well as certain industries such as tourism.

Readers will recall that the European Commission announced in early June that Croatia meets all the criteria of nominal convergence, and that Croatian legislation is fully in line with the requirements of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU and the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and the European Central Bank. In 2023, it is ready to become the 20th member of the Eurozone.

The final decision on Croatia's membership of the Eurozone, through adoption of legislation, should be made by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council at its meeting on 12 July. At that time, a regulation on Croatia's accession to the Eurozone and a regulation on the definitive exchange rate at which the kuna will be exchanged for the euro will be adopted.

Apart from the fact that it meets all the necessary criteria, Muresan said that the Croatian economy is in a solid situation, that it is managed in a very responsible way, and that further reduction of public debt in the GDP in the coming years will boost economic growth.

He also emphasized the readiness of the Croatian government to support citizens and companies, due to the consequences of the war in Ukraine and the coronavirus pandemic.

Muresan is also a member of the EP's working group for monitoring the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, and given that "it is very important that the Croatian economy remains in good condition for years to come", he discussed the mechanism with the Prime Minister and Finance Minister.

With it, Croatia has up to 6.3 billion euros in grants at its disposal, it is implementing it on the basis of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, and Muresan assessed that the implementation of these funds has started "very well".

Source: HRT

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