The Czech Republic and the euro : Not now, or not ever?
|Druh||Kapitola v knize|
|Fakulta / Pracoviště MU|
|Popis||The Czech Republic (now Czechia), which joined the European Union in 2004, did not negotiate any opt-outs and is therefore obliged to join the Eurozone as soon as the economic and political conditions so allow. Officially, the Czech Republic follows the National Plan for the Adoption of the Euro, which was approved by the Czech government in 2007. However, in practice, the country is deliberately postponing the adoption of the common currency indefinitely. A significant majority of the political elites and the public oppose the euro and the government has not officially declared any adoption timetable. The main economic reason for postponing the entry is insufficient real economic convergence even though the Czech economy de facto has met the Maastricht criteria on several occasions. However, formally, the Czech Republic does not meet the entry criteria since it has avoided joining the ERM II. The Czech position is thus unique in Central and Eastern Europe, both in terms of the low public support for the adoption of the euro and the strength of the underlying Czech Euroscepticism. This is further reinforced by the lukewarm debate on the impact of joining the Eurozone and by the distrust of many political parties towards the project. We argue that without a change in these factors, a shift towards greater support for the euro cannot be expected. Such a situation creates a difficult conundrum for the Czech Republic’s European policy: on the one hand, there is an interest in belonging to the European core. On the other hand, this wish is significantly hampered by the country’s non-participation in the euro area.|