Eight countries are part of the European Union but are not part of the Euro area: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark. Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden. Denmark has negotiated an opt-out from the Euro. The other countries have committed to joining the euro area as and when they meet the conditions for entry to the euro area.

One of the entry conditions for a country to join the euro area is to participate in the second version of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM-II) for two years before joining the Euro. This requires the country to pass the ERM-II legislation. As a result, countries can decide not to approve ERM-II laws and thereby not meet the entry conditions for the euro area.

There is no deadline for the remaining EU countries to join the euro area. Some countries, such as Poland and the Czech Republic, have made it clear that they don’t plan to join anytime soon. Other countries, including Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania, are expected to join the Eurozone in the near future. We look at this in more detail in what follows.