CEE-Benefits and Disadvantages of Joining the Eurozone

.

The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are pushing the Euro adoption process towards an unknown future, despite the fact that, within the last few years, some of them have been able to participate in the in ERM II mechanism, for a period of at least two years before they can qualify to adopt the Euro.

The Hungarian Minister for National Economy, Mihály Varga, recently said that Hungary cannot abandon its long-term intention of joining the Eurozone, but that there is no rush. What benefits would there be if the three countries met the Maastricht criteria?

“The Czech economy would benefit the most, from joining the Eurozone, as it would cut transaction costs and exchange rate volatility, for this small economy. It is very open and the Eurozone is its largest trading partner,” Juraj Kotian, Head of CEE Macro/Fixed Income Research of Erste Group, tells Emerging Europe.

“While many of these arguments are also valid for Hungary, its economy and, especially the labour market, are not so flexible. Plus Hungary does not have as big a fiscal space as the Czech Republic, which would allow it to run counter-cyclical policy during the downturn. The Czech Republic is much more converged, in terms of income and price levels and that is why a common monetary policy would be less than sub-optimal for a low-income country where a large part of price convergence is underway. The Polish economy is relatively closed and would benefit less from being a Eurozone member,” he adds.

“The Eurozone must be renewed, stabilised and its earlier attraction restored, in light of the difficulties and internal problems which have surfaced in the past years”, wrote the state secretary at the Ministry for National Economy, Andras Tállai, in a written response to independent MP Márta Demeter which was posted on the parliamentary website. “The introduction of the Euro may only become a timely matter if Hungary’s level of economic development approaches the average of the other Eurozone countries. Otherwise, Hungary could be the loser similar to some Mediterranean countries,” he continued.

Naturally, there are other drawbacks, too. Erste Group’s Mr Kotian says that by joining the Eurozone, the countries would lose their independent monetary policy and thus their ability to smooth their economic cycles on their own. “However, we could see that interest rate policies in the CEE have been closely linked and influenced by the European Central Bank’s (ECB) actions and that the possibility of letting currency depreciate was probably the strongest monetary channel during the crisis,” he adds.

That is why, countries which decide to join the Eurozone, should think how they are going to absorb or counterbalance the shocks, if they cannot use the exchange rate channel. Their fiscal position and the banking sector have to be in a good shape and measures should be put in place which avoid pro-cyclically in both areas.

“Joining the Eurozone right now would have some political costs, as new members will need to pay up front payments into rescue funds and it is still not clear what the final setup of the Eurozone will look like and if the continued future existence of Eurozone will require larger fiscal transfers.

Not joining the Eurozone would also have its costs, internationally, because countries that gained their EU membership, similarly committed to joining the Eurozone, after meeting the Maastricht criteria. Thus, any reluctance to join could be seen as a refusal of deeper integration and also as unfinished homework. Some western-European politicians are beginning to become tired of the cherry-picking of some CEE countries. So, it could be that the Cohesion Policy will be redesigned, after 2020, in such a way that only countries which show their solidarity (are already Eurozone members or clearly heading towards it) and fulfil their commitment to integration(in the migration crisis) would be eligible for Cohesion Funds,” Mr Kotian says.

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OECD: Tightening Labour Markets Sustain Growth in Emerging Europe

workers, employment

The Socialism of Central Europe’s Populists

MARSEILLE FRANCE - JUNE 21 2016: People watch football match at Tribunes of Stade Velodrome during UEFA EURO 2016 game Ukraine v Poland

Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Boss Survives, For Now

Artem Sytnyk

When Neutrality Isn’t an Option

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin

Ukraine’s Q2 Growth Climbs

kyiv ukraine emerging europe

Digital Business Space Gives All Businesses an Office in Sarajevo

Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina - August 24 2015. View from Vraca Memorial Park with building of Avaz Twist Tower

The Capital Markets Union: a New Beginning in the European Financial Sector?

Škoda too Strong for VW Group

MLADA BOLESLAV CZECH REPUBLIC - MAY 30: Skoda Octavia on conveyor line during Doors Open Day at Skoda Auto a.s. factory. Skoda auto celebrated 120 years since its founding on May 30 2015 in Mlada Boleslav.

Why is Armenia Borrowing Another 100 Million US Dollars From Russia?

Polish Labour Market Deficits Are Impacting All

Construction site with crane and building. Construction site in western europe - in Poland.

Baltic Bank Merger May Tempt Polish Heavyweight

DNB Bank Vilnius

Czech Republic Renaming Has Real Economic Costs

Poles Still Keen on German Jobs

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in Germany. The Brandenburg Gate is a triumphal arch a city gate in the center of Berlin. It is one of the most known sites in Berlin.

Albania is creating three free economic zones

Ukraine’s Finance Ministry Wants Urgent Tax Reform

China-Georgia FTA Takes Effect

TBILISI GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Top view of Tbilisi downtown Georgia on September 28 2016. Tbilisi is a capital and largest city of Georgia.

Valga and Valka – Where Estonia and Latvia Work Together

Valga valka emerging europe

Emerging Europe Makes Great Strides in Improving Business Regulation for Entrepreneurs

Skopje Macedonia

EBRD Transition Report Highlights Financial Sector Resilience

Baku

Examining How a Strong Swiss Franc Could Single-Handedly Topple Poland’s Economy

Brexit: Let’s Learn the Lesson and Hope a Better Europe Will Arise

Moldova Falls Victim to Politicising

moldova emerging europe

Ex-Banker to Become Poland’s Next Prime Minister

CEE Nation Brands Still Behind Western Counterparts

TALLINN ESTONIA- JUNE 17: View of the modern high rise buildings on border with an old part of the city on June 17 2012 in Tallinn Estonia

IMF: Institutions Key to Sustainable Growth

IMF

Under Promise, Over Deliver: Prospects for the EU’s Eastern Partnership in 2018

Eastern partnership

Political Tensions Rise As Croatia Allegedly Breaks the Dublin III Refugee Regulation

croatia migrants

Czech Land Prices Continue to Increase

farm land

World Bank: Western Balkans Need to Speed Up Growth For Faster Convergence

world bank

Latvian Deputy Prime Minister Highlights Riga’s Potential

riga

Global Expansion in the Digital Age

The Voice of European Business Must Be Heard Loud and Clear by Brexit Negotiators

Budapest’s Property Boom Goes Nationwide

building

Warsaw Back on Top in Polish Banking

WARSAW, POLAND - MAY 07, 2016: Building Palace of Culture and Science among the modern buildings of the city

We, the Post-Communist Generation, Have the Skills to Rid of the Past And Create Our Own Future

Emerging Europe Internet Speeds: Could Do Better

3d rendering internet speed meter close up

EU-CEE Is Still Growing at a Healthy Rate

Prague emerging europe

Czech Election Result Could Delay Euro Adoption Until 2025

czech banknotes nominal value two and five thousand crowns on white background. 300 000 Kc is approximately 12 450 US dollars (USD) or 11 100 Euro (EUR)

Regional Relations in the Western Balkans: Moving Beyond Folklore

Bosnia and Herzegovina flag with Serbia flag, 3D rendering

Estonia Posts EU’s Highest Inflation Rate in November

Rising food and grocery store prices is estonia and cost of living concept. Man counting food and consumer goods money with pen, paper and calculator at home. Budget of disadvantaged and low income family.

Georgia to Develop Rural Fibre-Optic Network

Young man working on his laptop connect to wireless internet in rural area. Internet connection allows people to work anywhere from laptop. Notebook and nature background. Wireless technology concept.

January Kicks Off an Exciting Year for Emerging Europe

E-lifestyle and Cyber Security: Some Views From Estonia

Cyber Security Protection Firewall Interface Concept

CEE: Innovate or Get Eaten

innovation

The Sharing Economy Could Bring New Business Models to CEE

CEE Emigrants Could Boost Their Countries’ Economies

Londoners walking through Millennium Bridge with St.Paul's Cathedral at the background after sunset - London, UK

Hungary and Israel: the Collision of Past and Present

Budapest synagoge

Europe at Odds over OPAL and Nord Stream 2

Are Czech-EU Relations at Breaking Point?

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - 21 JUNE 2014: People on the streets of Prague, Czech Republic. Prague is one of the most visited city in Europe with over 5 million visitors every year.

Breaking With Imitations of the Past

Doing Business Across Eurasia Could Be Easier

Eurasia emerging europe schneider group

The CEE Region Is Making Advances in Prioritising Waste-to-Energy Projects

Business Standards Are High in SEE But Vary Widely

Aerial view of The Cathedral of the Assumption in Varna

New investors interested in Belarus’ Great Stone Industrial Park

Will a Two-speed European Union Side-line the Visegrad Four?

Czech Real Estate Market Is Top CEE Performer

Prague skyscrapers in blue hour with purple sky. Modern building architecture after sunset. Office center in capital city. Czech republic lighting buildings.

Belarus Foreign Minister Hails Success of Visa-Free Travel Programme

Great noble deer surrounded by herd.Portrait of a deer, while looking at you.Adult deer with big beautiful horns on snowy field on forest background.

Prepare for a New Europe

HSBC Reports CEE Growth Surge in Q3

romania national bank

Is Prague the New Face of Overtourism?

prague tourists

Georgian Wine Posts Record Results

Glass of wine at tasting area of annual city festival Tbilisoba with crowd of people around. Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia country

Serbia’s New PM Is Cut From a Familiar Cloth

Serbian flag emerging europe

Romanian Transport Infrastructure Failures Pile Up

Cernavoda Romania - June 20 2012: Construction works at the A2 highway connecting Romania's capital Bucharest to Constanta.

Serbia, Belarus and Ukraine Ranked Lowly by Wharton Business School

Kyiv Ukraine - April 172017: The postal square in Kiev on Podol the Dnipro river. view of the square from the river panorama

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