EU Commissioner Asserts Rigorous Criteria for Bulgaria’s Eurozone Entry

EU | December 3, 2023, Sunday // 11:02|  views

In a definitive stance, European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, underscored the unwavering commitment to stringent criteria for Bulgaria's entrance into the Eurozone, dispelling any prospects of leniency or "flexibility" in the accession process. Speaking exclusively to BNR, Gentiloni clarified that Bulgaria must diligently fulfill all prescribed conditions, notably emphasizing the evaluation of the inflation criterion set for April.

Acknowledging Bulgaria's commendable progress in meeting three out of the four stipulated criteria, Gentiloni emphasized the critical nature of satisfying all prerequisites for seamless integration. He stressed that adherence to the established rules would not only ensure Bulgaria's adherence but also guarantee a structured and efficient integration, benefiting both the country and the existing Eurozone members.

Highlighting the positive trend in inflation reduction across the European Union, Gentiloni hailed the decreasing inflation's potential to enhance households' purchasing power. Moreover, he praised Bulgaria's robust economic growth, forecasting a near 2 percent increase, surpassing the EU's projected 0.6 percent. This growth spurt positions Bulgaria to bridge the wealth gap with other EU nations at a faster pace.

Regarding Bulgaria's aspirations for Schengen Area membership, Gentiloni expressed support while acknowledging ongoing efforts by Bulgarian authorities to convince skeptics of the nation's preparedness. Despite pockets of opposition, the Commissioner maintained optimism, indicating the European Commission's and EU presidency's resolute commitment to propel Bulgaria's Schengen accession forward in the imminent future.

Beyond Eurozone considerations, Gentiloni voiced a staunch stance on the ongoing sanctions against Russia due to its conflict with Ukraine. He affirmed that the prolonged imposition of sanctions would increasingly impact the Russian economy.

In summary, Gentiloni reiterated Bulgaria's adherence to Eurozone criteria, conveyed support for its Schengen aspirations, and advocated for the continuation of sanctions against Russia.

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Tags: Eurozone, criteria, Schengen, Bulgaria, Gentiloni


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