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Romania sets 2024 as the deadline for joining the euro area

By Andra Beltz
The Bucharest government officials have decided to set up a national commission to prepare for joining the euro The new term of membership will be 2024. The leader of the Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea, - in power since 2016 - said today that the commission will do representatives from the Romanian Academy, the Presidency, the Government, civil society stakeholders, other institutions, the associative structures of the local authorities.
The new commission will be endorsed this week by the Government. By 15 November, the timetable for implementation will be set, the action plan to implement the necessary measures from 1 January 2019.
Accession to the eurozone has come out of the debate of public decision makers lately. In 2014, the Cabinet headed by Victor Ponta set January 1, 2019 as the deadline for joining the euro area. Unfortunately, the National Bank of Romania had an uncertain attitude and did not support the Government's approach.
The latest Convergence Report, which analyzes compliance with the Maastricht criteria on economic indicators in 2016, shows that Romania met most of the nominal criteria. However, the NBR Statute is not fully compatible with the European Central Bank's criteria regarding independence, ban on monetary financing and integration with the Frankfurt office.
The convergence report is drafted every two years, but interested states can also request a special report within this range.
The convergence program for 2017-2020, approved in May last year by the Government, has not mentioned a certain date for the accession of Romania to the eurozone, but only the maintenance of this commitment.
From the point of view of the real convergence, as measured by the gaps compared to the European average of GDP per capita expressed in terms of purchasing power, there is the prospect that, in 2020, Romania will reach 70% of the European average compared to 57.1% in 2015.
Over the past two years, several Central and Eastern European countries are not interrupted or delay the deadlines for moving to the single currency, although this process is an obligation assumed by all European Union states. Poland, Czech Rep. and Hungary are even against joining the eurozone, for fear of the economic and political difficulties the Brussels bureaucracy has promoted in the European Union.
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