The Perspectives of Romania’s Accession to the Eurozone in the context of the White Paper on the Future of Europe

*The following article presents a debate that took place on the topic of Romania’s Accession to the Eurozone and is a repostof an article that was initially published in the EIR Newsletter no. 86, July 2017 with the full link presented below.

The European Affairs Committees from the Romanian Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, respectively the Budget, Finances, Banking Activities and Capital Market Committee from the Romanian Senate have organised the debate The Perspectives of Romania’s Accession to the Eurozone in the context of the White Paper on the Future of Europe on 13 June 2017. […]

The debate focussed on drafting the conditions of a successful accession to the single currency, in the context of a wider debate regarding the future of Europe. The event had as purpose a better information of the public and parliamentary opinion as regards the premises of the Euro currency accession and the role of Romania in the future of Europe.

Ms. Angela Cristea declared that Romania must establish an accession target to the Eurozone, “in tandem with a step by step program”, that would lead to the observance of that date, but for the time being there is the risk that one of the important criteria, that of the consolidated budget deficit to be under 3% is not fulfilled. . 

“Currently, at the European Commission level, there is a concern that on one of these criteria, Romania risks to back track, of not fulfilling it. It is about the consolidated budget deficit, that must be under 3% and the calculation of our colleagues, from the Financial Direction, that say that after a sustained growth, that was last year of 4.6% we see now a 5.7% growth, there is the risk that his growth would lead to a deficit increase”.

Mr. Victor Ponta underlined the importance of real criteria observance, “Romania must accede to the Eurozone when, other than the nominal criteria, we are close to the real criteria”. He also reiterated the Parliament role of “explaining and collaborating” with the Romanian business sector as to the way in which Romania will be affected by such a decision and how it must be prepared to win from Romania’s accession to the Eurozone and not losing due to this.

Mr. Daniel Dăianu stated that Romania could accede to the Eurozone in the next eight years, but also the Eurozone needs to improve that way it works. “In the context of an improvement of the way in which the Eurozone works, I believe we can accede to the Eurozone in the first half of the next decade. We want to accede to the Eurozone. We believe in the European project”.

As possible scenario: if Romania keeps an average growth rate of 5% per year in a sustainable manner, it could reach the 75% level of the Eurozone in 2024. But everything must be regarded with caution: “Romania is not prepared to accede to the Eurozone, and those who say, that if we were to be invited we should join, show a rather simple way of thinking and that shows the misunderstanding of the problems we would be dealing with”.

Ms. Gabriela Crețu used this opportunity to talk about a series of possible scenarios regarding Romania’s accession to the Eurozone, that go from a conservative scenario of compliance with the current provisions to a possible realignment with the camp of those willing to reform the Eurozone.

Mr. Valentin Lazea tackled the convergence issue, underlining the need of a cultural convergence between various areas of Europe as regards the relationship with the economy.

Toward the end of the debate, Mr. Mihai Sebe presented the general audience a series of recommendations and possible ways to act as regards the future of Europe as they result from the paper elaborated under the EIR brand concerning the 10 years that passed since Romania’s accession to the European Union. […]

The article was first published in the EIR Newsletter no. 86, July 2017