Presenting the European Commission’s State of the Union 2017 address, president Jean-Claude Juncker reiterated the objective of making the euro the single currency of all EU member states, as he commented on the state of economic and monetary union.
The statement – printed on supporting documents published by the Commission: emu-today-factsheet_en – said: “If we want the euro to unite rather than divide our continent, then it should be more than the currency of a select group of countries. The euro is meant to be the single currency of the European Union as a whole.”
The Commission noted that six member states – Sweden, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and Republic of Croatia – are considered “prospective euro area member”, while a further two – Bulgaria and Denmark – have national currencies “linked to the euro”.
This may come as news to voters in a country such as Sweden, where a referendum in 2003 saw a majority vote not to introduce the euro. However, the country does not have a formal exclusion from Treaty objectives on convergence, which state that the country should introduce the currency when it meets certain conditions.
Other areas considered in the State of the Union 2017 addressed:
- Strengthening democracy across the EU
- Proposals for a European Minister of Economy and Finance
- The EU’s Structural Reform Support Service
- Posting of workers across borders in the EU
- Food quality standards
- The EU’s partnership with Africa
- An update on the EU Solidarity Corps
- And how the Commission is seeking to streamline and improve the way it regulates