Brussels, 23 July 2014
Lithuania: euro adoption preparations progressing well, room for further progress to protect consumers
The Commission today reported on Lithuania's practical preparations for the changeover to the euro. The "14th Report on the practical preparations for the future enlargement of the euro area" confirmed that preparations for Lithuania to join the euro area on 1 January 2015 are proceeding well, although there is room for progress in some areas. The report comes on the day the EU's Council of Ministers gave the final green light for Lithuania to adopt the euro, following the overwhelming endorsement by the European Parliament on 16 July.
The report's key conclusions are:
Measures designed to avoid abusive practices by retailers must be stepped up. This is one of the main concerns voiced by Lithuanians.
It is important to achieve the highest possible subscription rate to the Memorandum on Good Business Practice, in which participants commit not to use the euro introduction as a pretext for unjustified price rises.
Corrective action should be taken within at most 48 hours against businesses that fail to comply with the requirements for price display and conversion (e.g. rounding rules) or that fail to implement the Memorandum on Good Business Practice properly. This is essential to ensure that the introduction of the euro is not abused by speculators and Lithuanians' spending power is not undermined.
The first information on price developments after "€-day" should be published as early as possible in January 2015.
The amount of litas cash in circulation could be further reduced before "€-day" on 1 January 2015.
Information campaigns should focus on practical aspects of the euro changeover to ensure that dual price displays are set up correctly and price settings are closely monitored during the changeover period, to protect consumers. In this context, the Lithuanian authorities are invited to share the results of their opinion polls regularly with the Commission.
In the coming months, the Commission will reassess Lithuania's practical preparations for introducing the euro, including its response to the recommendations set out in the report issued today. The Commission's findings will be published in the 15th Report on the practical preparations for the future enlargement of the euro area, before the end of the year.
For more information see: