The European Parliament rapporteur on Croatia's accession to the euro area, Siegfried Mureșan, said on Monday that Croatia was ready to join the euro area entry and that Parliament was expected to to vote on his report at a plenary session in early July.
During his official visit to Zagreb, Mureșan met with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić and Croatian National Bank Governor Boris Vujčić, and attended a joint meeting of the Croatian Parliament's Committee on Finance and State Budget and Committee on Regional Development and EU Funds.
My conclusion is that Croatia is ready to join the euro area, Mureșan told a press conference, adding that the Croatian economy is well-integrated into the euro area economy.
Mureșan is due to present his report to the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs on Tuesday morning, and in it he will recommend that Croatia be admitted to the euro area on 1 January 2023.
Mureșan comes from Romania and serves as a vice-president of the European People's Party (EPP) and its group in the European Parliament.
The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs is expected to vote on his report on 20 June, after which it would be put before a plenary session of the European Parliament between 4 and 7 July.
Mureșan expects his report to be backed by a significant majority, saying that the aim is to give Croatia the green light as soon as possible because euro area membership is good for Croatia, its businesses and citizens, as well as for individual sectors of its economy, such as tourism.
Earlier this month, the European Commission reported that Croatia meets the nominal convergence criteria and that its legislation is fully compatible with the requirements of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and the European Central Bank. The Commission said that Croatia is ready to become the 20th member of the euro area.
A final decision on Croatia's euro area membership is expected to be made by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council at its meeting on 12 July, when a regulation on Croatia's accession to the euro area and a regulation on the definitive kuna-euro exchange rate would be adopted.
Mureșan said that the Croatian economy was in a solid state and responsibly managed, adding that a further reduction of the public debt to GDP ratio would boost growth in the years to come.
He also noted the Croatian government's readiness to support citizens and businesses in dealing with the consequences of the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since Mureșan is also a member of the Recovery and Resilience Task Force, he and Finance Minister Marić also discussed the Recovery and Resilience Facility, under which €6.3 billion in grants has been made available to Croatia. Mureșan said that the implementation of these funds has got off to a good start.