05/06/2013 at 12:00
Where: Brussels, Belgium
Topic: Economy, finance, tax and competition
Organiser: European Commission
On 5 June the Commission will publish its convergence report assessing whether Latvia fulfils the criteria for adopting the euro. This is an important phase of the procedure which started in early March: if the assessment is positive, the Commission will make a recommendation to the Council of Ministers.
The formal decision paving the way for the adoption of the Euro would be taken at the Council of the Economic and Finance Ministers on 9 July after due consultation of the European Parliament and discussion in the European Council (i.e. among the Heads of State or Government). This would allow Latvia sufficient time for thorough technical preparations for introducing the euro on 1 January 2014.
The procedure would be fully completed once the Council of Ministers, acting by unanimity of its euro area Member States and Latvia, has irrevocably fixed the exchange rate of the lats to the euro.
The Commission and the ECB prepare convergence reports every two years or at the request of a Member State which wants to adopt the euro. On 5 March 2013, Latvia formally asked the Commission to deliver an extraordinary convergence report with the aim of joining the euro from 1 January 2014.
The convergence criteria, which are set out in Art. 140 (1) of the Treaty, consist of five stability-oriented economic conditions regarding price stability, public finances (debt and deficit), exchange rate stability and the convergence of long-term interest rates.
In addition, the Treaty requires that other factors relevant to economic integration and convergence – including external balance and financial and product market integration – should be taken into account in the assessment. The national legislation on monetary affairs must also be in line with the EU Treaty.
Press point: Olli Rehn, Vice-President in charge of Economic and financial Affairs and the Euro will present the Commission's Report in the press room at 12:00 (Berlaymont).
Press material: the convergence report and a press release will be available on that day.