BRUSSELS. Technical tests of a single currency for Croatia, which will be able to start minting the first prototypes of a new currency and thus prepare for the actual entry into the euro area, which is expected in 2023. The informal Eurogroup hosted in Slovenia opens the way to the new expansion of Euroland, from 19 to 20 countries, through the signing of the memorandum of understanding which establishes the necessary steps to start the production of coins and banknotes when the long-awaited official green light arrives in Zagreb, where preparations can begin in view of the transition to the new regime and the new prices.
The latest member of the club of the Twenty-Seven, Croatia, which joined in July 2013, aims to switch from the Kuna to the euro in 2023, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of its accession to the EU. The signing of the memorandum of understanding allows the country to receive the technical documentation necessary for prototype coins used to verify the technical suitability of the various denominations with legal tender for vending machines and machines for processing paperless currency. This work will be carried out with the assistance of the Commission and the Member States of the euro area.
“It is an important moment in Croatia’s efforts to join the euro area”, underline the commissioners for the economy and for the economy at the service of people, Paolo Gentiloni and Valdis Dombrovskis.
On 10 July 2020, the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank included Croatia and the Croatian Kuna in the second phase of the European Exchange Rate Agreements, while setting the central exchange rate (1 euro = 7.53450 kuna). Another formal step required by the process is now added to the process of joining the single currency. The signing of this memorandum, explains Gentiloni, not only has a strong symbolic value, “it is also an important practical step”. Dombrovskis recalls that there is still some work to be done. “Before being able to adopt the single European currency, Croatia must first meet all the Maastricht criteria and continue to make progress on technical preparations.” However, a new enlargement of the Euroland is getting closer.