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Preparations for the changeover of public administrations to the euro

Preparations for the changeover of public administrations to the europdf

For an updated overview of the state of preparations for the changeover of public administrations to the euro as of 15 May 1998, please refer to Euro Papers n°27

Executive summary

One year before the start of stage three of Economic and Monetary Union on 1 January 1999, the practical changeover preparations of Member States’ public administrations are gaining constantly in importance. This working document has above all the objective of providing comparable interim country-by-country information on the current state of national changeover plans. It represents a deepening of the information given on public administrations in the context of the Commission’s recent communication "Practical Aspects of the Introduction of the Euro" of 1 October 1997.

On the occasion of the adoption of that communication the Commission announced that it would, before the end of 1997, give an account of the work done so far in the national public administration area.

The most important results of this overview, assembled in close co-operation with national administrations, are:

  • Ten Member States have so far published a national changeover plan or, in one case, a comprehensive draft transition law.
  • A majority of Member States intends to give companies, and in many cases individuals, the option at least partially to communicate and to execute financial flows with public administrations either in the national currency unit or in the euro unit from January 1999 onwards.
  • The range of these so-called "euro-options" varies from one Member State to another. These options cover, among others, such areas as company accounting and reporting, the founding of companies with their capital in the euro unit or the redenomination of an existing company’s capital into the euro unit, or tax and social security declarations and payments.
  • Member States expecting to participate in 1999 intend to continue to operate internally (i.e. budgets and internal accounting) in the national currency unit until the end of thetransitional period in December 2001. A trend can be identified, however, towards the parallel publication in the euro unit of major government data at least towards the end of the transitional period, for the sake of familiarisation with the single currency in the public sector.
  • Depending on the individual structures of Member States, co-ordination with regional and local authorities has become a major topic of national changeover preparations.
(Euro Papers. 12. December 1997. Brussels. Tab. Ann. Free.)

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