In its Report, the Commission concludes that preparations in Slovakia are well advanced in many areas but further efforts are necessary.
Article created on 18 July 2008
On 18 July 2008, the Commission issued a report assessing the state of practical preparations for the adoption of the euro, focusing on Slovakia. On 8 July 2008, the Council gave the final and formal approval for Slovakia to adopt the euro on 1 January 2009, and set the conversion rate at 30.1260 Slovak koruny to the euro. The Slovak authorities must now concentrate on ensuring that the population and businesses are well prepared and that the changeover takes place smoothly.
The practical preparations have been entrusted to Slovakia's National Coordination Committee and the Government Plenipotentiary for the Introduction of the euro. The Commission suggests that Slovakia reinforce its coordination structures to ensure that they work efficiently and are able to solve any problems effectively.
Good progress in Slovakia
The report concludes that Slovakia has made good progress in areas such as the physical introduction of euro cash and the preparations of the financial and banking sectors, but identifies areas where further efforts are necessary.
It also assesses the compliance with the provisions of the Commission Recommendation of 10 January 2008 on measures to facilitate future changeovers to the euro (2008/78/EC). It strongly recommends that businesses be encouraged to sign the ‘Ethical Code’ of conduct concerning the respect of conversion rules, and that market-distorting measures such as price-freezing be avoided owing to the risk of abrupt price hikes at the end of the freeze.
State of public opinion
The report also comments on the results of the Commission's survey, which explored the state of preparations among Slovak enterprises last June (Flash Eurobarometer 240). The survey reveals that the majority of enterprises – mostly SMEs – are fairly well informed and feel advanced in their preparations.
A staff working paper attached to the report examines the state of preparations in the other Member States which yet have to adopt the euro, and presents the results of the Flash Eurobarometer conducted last May (FB 237) on the state of public opinion concerning the euro in the Member States which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007.