The European Union is ready to remove the final obstacles to Croatia adopting the euro, enabling the first expansion of the currency bloc in almost a decade. EU finance ministers plan at a meeting in Brussels to approve three laws that will pave the way for Croatia to become the 20th member of the eurozone on January 1, 2023. The last EU country to join the European single-currency area was Lithuania in 2015.
In the 27-nation EU, adopting the euro offers economic benefits stemming from deeper financial ties with the currency bloc’s other members and from the European Central Bank’s monetary authority.
The appeal of euro membership is reflected by the last three expansions, which brought in Baltic states between 2011 and 2015. During that period, the eurozone was scrambling to contain a debt crisis that Greece had triggered and that was threatening to break apart the currency alliance.