Implications of the European debt crisis for the eurozone entry conditions

Alina Szypulewska-Porczyńska

Abstrakt

The aim of this paper is to present the changes in the EU framework for the evaluation of the progress made by the countries aspiring for the eurozone in order to respond to two main questions: first, what is the nature of these changes and do they reflect the optimum currency area (OCA) theory better than before? And secondly, have these changes made the accession into the eurozone more difficult? First of all, we present the main elements of the new European governance that impact a country’s accession into the eurozone and the consequent evolution of the concept of a ‘high degree of sustainable economic convergence’. Then, we show whether the current conditions for sharing the euro satisfy the OCA theory to a higher degree than before. We observe that although theOCAcriteria can hardly be found in the modified framework for the assessment of economic convergence in the EMU, the efforts that have been made so far towards fiscal integration make the euro membership less challenging. When considering the changes in the entry conditions from the eurozone enlargement perspective, an ambiguous picture emerges.

Słowa kluczowe: eurozone, convergence criteria, European economic governance, optimum currency area