Czech Republic and the euro

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eurozone participation
  European Union member states (eurozone) – 18
  European Union member state in ERM II scheduled to join on 1 January 2015 – Lithuania
  European Union member states not in ERM II but obliged to join – 7
  European Union member state in ERM II with an opt-outDenmark
  European Union member state not in ERM II with an opt-out – United Kingdom
  non-European Union member states using the euro with a monetary agreement – 4
  non-European Union member states using the euro unilaterally – 2

The Czech Republic has been a member of the European Union since May 2004. It is bound by their Treaty of Accession to join the eurozone once they satisfy the euro convergence criteria. Its currency, the Czech koruna, is not currently participating in ERM II.

Adopting the euro[edit]

Since joining the EU in May 2004, the Czech Republic has adopted fiscal and monetary policies that aims to align its macroeconomic conditions with the rest of the European Union. Initially, the Czech Republic planned to adopt the euro as its official currency in 2010, however evaluations in 2006 found this date to be unlikely.[1] In February 2007, the Finance Minister said 2012 was a "realistic" date,[2] but by November 2007 this was said to be too soon.[3] In August 2008, an assessment said that adoption was not expected before 2015 due to political reluctance to the subject.[4] However, in October 2009, the then Finance Minister, Eduard Janota, stated that 2015 was no longer realistic.[5] In June 2008, the Central bank governor Zdeněk Tůma speculated about 2019.[6]

In late 2010 a discussion arose within the Czech government, partially initiated by then President Václav Klaus, a well known eurosceptic, over negotiating an opt-out from joining the eurozone. Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas later stated that no opt-out was required because the Czech Republic could not be forced to join the ERM II and thus could decide if or when to fulfil one of the necessary criteria to join the eurozone, an approach similar to the one taken by Sweden. Nečas also stated that his cabinet would not decide upon joining the euro during its term.[7][8]

The European sovereign-debt crisis further decreased the Czech Republic's interest in joining the eurozone.[9] Nečas said that since the conditions governing the eurozone had significantly changed since their accession treaty was ratified, he believed that Czechs should be able to decide by a referendum whether to join the eurozone under the new terms.[10] One of the government's junior coalition parties, TOP09, was opposed to a euro referendum.[11][12]

In April 2013, the Czech Ministry of Finance stated in its Convergence Programme delivered to the European Commission that the country had not yet set a target date for euro adoption and would not apply for ERM II membership in 2013. Their goal was to limit their time as an ERM II member, prior to acceding to the eurozone, to as brief as possible.[13] On 29 May 2013 Miroslav Singer, the Governor of the Czech National Bank (the Czech Republic's central bank) stated that in his professional opinion the Czech Republic will not adopt the euro before 2019.[14] In December 2013, the Czech government approved a recommendation from the Czech National Bank and Ministry of Finance against setting a formal target date for euro adoption or joining ERM II in 2014.[15]

Miloš Zeman, who was elected President of the Czech Republic in early 2013, supports euro adoption by the Czech Republic, though he also advocates for a referendum on the decision.[16][17] Shortly after taking office in March 2013, Zeman suggested that the Czech Republic would not be ready for the switch for at least five years.[18] Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, from the Social Democrats, stated on 25 April 2013, prior to his party's election victory that October, that he was "convinced that the government that will be formed after next year's election should set the euro entry date" and that "1 January 2020 could be a date to look at".[19][20] Shortly after being sworn into the new Cabinet in January 2014, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek stated that the country should join the eurozone as soon as possible.[21] The opposition TOP 09 ran on a platform in the 2013 parliamentary election that called for the Czech Republic to adopt the euro between 2018-2020.[22]

In April 2014, the Czech Ministry of Finance confirmed in its Convergence Programme delivered to the European Commission that the country had not yet set a target date for euro adoption and would not apply for ERM-II membership in 2014. Their goal was to limit their time as an ERM-II member, prior to acceding to the eurozone, to as brief as possible. Moreover, it was the opinion of the previous government that: "the fiscal problems of the eurozone, together with continued difficulty to predict the development of the monetary union, do not create a favorable environment for the future adoption of the euro."[23] Czech president Milos Zeman stated in June 2014, that he hoped his country would adopt the euro as soon as 2017, arguing that adoption would be beneficial for the Czech economy overall.[24]

Status[edit]

The 1992 Maastricht Treaty originally required that all members of the European Union join the euro once certain economic criteria are met. The Czech Republic meets 4 out of the 5 criteria.


Convergence criteria
Assessment month Country HICP inflation rate[25][nb 1] Excessive deficit procedure[26] Exchange rate Long-term interest rate[27][nb 2] Compatibility of legislation
Budget deficit to GDP[28] Debt-to-GDP ratio ERM II member[29] Change in rate[30][31][nb 3]
2012 ECB Report[nb 4] Reference values max. 3.1%[nb 5]
(as of 31 Mar 2012)
None open (as of 31 March 2012) min. 2 years
(as of 31 Mar 2012)
max. ±15%[nb 6]
(for 2011)
max. 5.80%[nb 7]
(as of 31 Mar 2012)
Yes[33]
(as of 31 Mar 2012)
max. 3.0%
(Fiscal year 2011)[34]
max. 60%
(Fiscal year 2011)[34]
 Czech Republic 2.7% Open No 2.7% 3.54% No
3.1% 41.2%
2013 ECB Report[nb 8] Reference values max. 2.7%[nb 9]
(as of 30 Apr 2013)
None open (as of 30 Apr 2013) min. 2 years
(as of 30 Apr 2013)
max. ±15%[nb 6]
(for 2012)
max. 5.5%[nb 9]
(as of 30 Apr 2013)
Yes[36]
(as of 30 Apr 2013)
max. 3.0%
(Fiscal year 2012)[37]
max. 60%
(Fiscal year 2012)[37]
 Czech Republic 2.8% Open No -2.3% 2.30%  ?
4.4% 45.8%
2014 ECB Report[nb 10] Reference values max. 1.7%[nb 11]
(as of 30 Apr 2014)
None open (as of 30 Apr 2014) min. 2 years
(as of 30 Apr 2014)
max. ±15%[nb 6]
(for 2013)
max. 6.2%[nb 11]
(as of 30 Apr 2014)
Yes[39]
(as of 30 Apr 2014)
max. 3.0%
(Fiscal year 2013)[40]
max. 60%
(Fiscal year 2013)[40]
 Czech Republic 0.9% Open (Closed in June 2014) No -3.3% 2.21% No
1.5% 46.0%


  Criterion fulfilled
  Criterion potentially fulfilled: If the budget deficit exceeds the 3% limit, but is "close" to this value (the European Commission has deemed 3.5% to be close by in the past),[41] then the criteria can still potentially be fulfilled if either the deficits in the previous two years are significantly declining towards the 3% limit, or if the excessive deficit is the result of exceptional circumstances which are temporary in nature (i.e. one-off expenditures triggered by a significant economic downturn, or by the implementation of economic reforms that are expected to deliver a significant positive impact on the government's future fiscal budgets). However, even if such "special circumstances" are found to exist, additional criteria must also be met to comply with the fiscal budget criterion.[42][43] Additionally, if the debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 60% but is "sufficiently diminishing and approaching the reference value at a satisfactory pace" it can be deemed to be in compliance.[44]
  Criterion not fulfilled


Notes
  1. ^ The 12-months average for the annual HICP inflation rate must be no more than 1.5% larger than the unweighted arithmetic average of the similar HICP inflation rates in the 3 EU member states with the lowest HICP inflation. If any of these 3 states have a HICP rate significantly below the similarly averaged HICP rate for the eurozone (which according to ECB practice means more than 2% below), and if this low HICP rate has been primarily caused by exceptional circumstances (i.e. severe wage cuts or a strong recession), then such a state is not included in the calculation of the reference value and is replaced by the EU state with the fourth lowest HICP rate.
  2. ^ The annual average for the yield of 10-year government bonds must be no more than 2.0% larger than the unweighted arithmetic average of the bond yields in the 3 EU member states with the lowest HICP inflation. If any of these states have bond yields which are significantly larger than the similarly averaged yield for the eurozone (which according to previous ECB reports means more than 2% above) and at the same time does not have complete funding access to financial markets (which is the case for as long as a government receives bailout funds), then such a state is not be included in the calculation of the reference value.
  3. ^ The change in the annual average exchange rate against the euro.
  4. ^ Reference values from the ECB convergence report of May 2012.[32]
  5. ^ Sweden, Ireland and Slovenia were the reference states.[32]
  6. ^ a b c The maximum allowed change in rate is ± 2.25% for Denmark.
  7. ^ Sweden and Slovenia were the reference states, with Ireland excluded as an outlier.[32]
  8. ^ Reference values from the ECB convergence report of June 2013.[35]
  9. ^ a b Sweden, Latvia and Ireland were the reference states.[35]
  10. ^ Reference values from the ECB convergence report of June 2014.[38]
  11. ^ a b Latvia, Portugal and Ireland were the reference states.[38]

Opinion polls[edit]

A survey held in January 2011 found only 22% of the population was in favour of adopting euro (6% "definitely yes", 16% "rather yes") while 78% was against it (43% "definitely not", 35% "rather not").[45] Public opposition remained high in February 2013.[17]

According to a eurobarometer poll in April 2014, 16% of Czechs were in favour of introducing the euro while 77% were opposed, which represented an increase in public support compared with the previous year.[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Topolánek a Tůma: euro v roce 2010 v ČR nebude". Novinky.cz (in Czech). 2006-09-19. 
  2. ^ "Euro je v Česku reálné v roce 2012, míní MF" [Adoption of euro in Czechia is realistic in 2012, says the Ministry of Finance]. Novinky.cz (in Czech). 2007-02-21. 
  3. ^ "Topolánek: euro nepřijmeme asi ani v roce 2012" [Topolanek: we won't adopt Euro in 2012 either]. Novinky.cz (in Czech). 2007-11-18. 
  4. ^ "Euros in the wallets of the Slovaks, but who will be next?" (Press release). Sparkasse.at. 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  5. ^ "Czech euro adoption in 2014 or 2015 not realistic -- Janota". FinancNoviny.cz. October 2009. 
  6. ^ "For Czechs, euro adoption still a long way off". Czech Radio. 2008-06-09. 
  7. ^ "Czech crown to stay long with no euro opt-out needed: PM". Reuters. 2010-12-05. 
  8. ^ Laca, Peter (2010-12-05). "Czech Republic Still Able to Opt Out of Adopting Euro, Prime Minister Says". Bloomberg. 
  9. ^ "Czechs, Poles cooler to euro as they watch debt crisis". Reuters. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  10. ^ Pop, Valentina (28 October 2011). "Czech PM mulls euro referendum". EUObserver. Retrieved 28 October 2011. ""The conditions under which the Czech citizens decided in a referendum in 2003 on the country's accession to the EU and on its commitment to adopt the single currency, euro, have changed. That is why the ODS will demand that a possible accession to the single currency and the entry into the European stabilisation mechanism be decided on by Czech citizens," the ODS resolution says." 
  11. ^ "Czechs deeply divided on EU’s fiscal union". Radio Praha. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "ForMin: Euro referendum casts doubt on Czech pledges to EU". Prague Daily Monitor. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Convergence Programme of the Czech Republic (April 2013)" (PDF). Ministry of Finance (Czech Republic). 26 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  14. ^ http://byznys.ihned.cz/zpravodajstvi-cesko/c1-59964150-cesko-neprijme-euro-drive-nez-v-roce-2019-predpoklada-guverner-cnb-singer
  15. ^ "CNB and MoF recommend not to set euro adoption date yet". Czech National Bank. 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2013-12-24. 
  16. ^ "Týden: Future to clear up diplomatic myths about new president". Prague Daily Monitor. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2013-023-15.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  17. ^ a b Bilefsky, Dan (2013-03-01). "Czechs Split Deeply Over Joining the Euro". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ "New Czech president will approve ESM". 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2013-03-11. 
  19. ^ "Skeptical Czechs may be pushed to change tone on euro". Reuters. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  20. ^ Lopatka, Jan; Muller, Robert (2014-01-17). "Czech center-left leader becomes PM, seeking closer EU ties". Reuters. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  21. ^ "Zaorálek: Adopt euro ASAP". The Prague Post. 2014-01-30. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  22. ^ "TOP 09 starts election campaign". 2013-09-12. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  23. ^ "Convergence Programme of the Czech Republic (April 2014)" (PDF) (in Czech). Ministry of Finance (Czech Republic). 28 April 2014. 
  24. ^ "Czech president sees euro adoption by 2017". EU business. 11 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "HICP (2005=100): Monthly data (12-month average rate of annual change)". Eurostat. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  26. ^ "The corrective arm". European Commission. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  27. ^ "Long-term interest rate statistics for EU Member States (monthly data for the average of the past year)". Eurostat. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  28. ^ "Government deficit/surplus data". Eurostat. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  29. ^ "What is ERM II?". European Commission. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  30. ^ "Euro/ECU exchange rates - annual data (average)". Eurostat. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  31. ^ "Former euro area national currencies vs. euro/ECU - annual data (average)". Eurostat. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  32. ^ a b c "Convergence Report May 2012". European Central Bank. May 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  33. ^ "Convergence Report - 2012". European Commission. March 2012. Retrieved 2014-09-26. 
  34. ^ a b "European economic forecast - spring 2012" (PDF). European Commission. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  35. ^ a b "Convergence Report". European Central Bank. June 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  36. ^ "Convergence Report - 2013". European Commission. March 2013. Retrieved 2014-09-26. 
  37. ^ a b "European economic forecast - spring 2013" (PDF). European Commission. February 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  38. ^ a b "Convergence Report". European Central Bank. June 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  39. ^ "Convergence Report - 2014". European Commission. April 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-26. 
  40. ^ a b "European economic forecast - spring 2014" (PDF). European Commission. March 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  41. ^ "Luxembourg Report prepared in accordance with Article 126(3) of the Treaty" (PDF). European Commission. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  42. ^ "EMI Annual Report 1994" (PDF). European Monetary Institute (EMI). April 1995. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  43. ^ "Progress towards convergence - Nov. 1995 (report prepared in accordance with article 7 of the EMI statute)" (PDF). European Monetary Institute (EMI). November 1995. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  44. ^ "Progress towards convergence - November 1995 (report prepared in accordance with article 7 of the EMI statute)" (PDF). European Monetary Institute (EMI). November 1995. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  45. ^ "Zavedení eura v ČR" (Press release) (in Czech). Středisko empirických výzkumů. 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  46. ^ http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_400_en.pdf