The Next County Adopting the Euro Could Be the Last

How It Works
Dec. 30 2013 3:49 PM

Lithuania Could Be the Last Country to Join the Euro

51392818
Out in Europe, spending euros.

Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

There are some countries where people are still excited about Europe’s much-maligned common currency, they just seem to all be Baltic countries. Estonia joined the Eurozone in 2011, and Latvia will become the 18th member on Wednesday. Lithuania seems likely to be next in 2015. But after that, as the Financial Times, reports, it could be a while:

All members of the EU except the UK and Denmark, which secured formal “opt-outs” two decades ago, are required by treaty to eventually join the single currency. Sweden, which remains outside despite the requirement, is currently “living in sin”, in the words of one senior EU official, by intentionally violating technical criteria on central bank independence required to join.
But other than Lithuania, no other non-euro country required to join has even taken the first step towards membership: joining the exchange rate mechanism, which sets trading limits for currencies preparing to join. It took Latvia more than eight years to go from joining the ERM to full euro membership, meaning the next euro member could be at least a decade away.
Advertisement

Enthusiasm in Poland, the next logical candidate, seems tepid at best. The Czech Republic's president says his country's membership is at least five years off.

On the flip-side, as my former colleague Blake Hounshell notes, predictions of a “Grexit”—Greece dropping the euro in the wake of the country’s economic collapse—have also not come to pass.

It seems more likely the eurozone is going to hold steady at 19 for the forseeable future.

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 17 2014 8:15 AM Ted Cruz Will Not Join a Protest of "The Death of Klinghoffer" After All
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 9:03 AM My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. And Then I Found Myself With Someone Like Dad.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 8:27 AM Only Science Fiction Can Save Us! What sci-fi gets wrong about income inequality.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 7:30 AM Ring Around the Rainbow
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.