Poland and the euro

Eurozone participation
<dt class="glossary " id="European Union (EU) member states" style="margin-top: 0.4em;">European Union (EU) member states
  19 in the eurozone.
  7 not in ERM II, but obliged to join the eurozone on meeting convergence criteria (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden).
  1 in ERM II, with an opt-out (Denmark).
  1 not in ERM II with an opt-out (United Kingdom).
Non-EU member states
  4 using the euro with a monetary agreement (Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City).
  2 using the euro unilaterally (Kosovo[lower-alpha 1] and Montenegro).

Poland does not use the euro as its currency. However, under the terms of their Treaty of Accession with the European Union, all new Member States "shall participate in the Economic and Monetary Union from the date of accession as a Member State with a derogation", which means that Poland is obliged to replace its currency, the złoty, with the euro eventually.

There is no target date for Polish euro adoption, and no fixed date for when the country will join ERM-II (the fifth euro convergence criterion). The country's former Deputy Prime Minister Janusz Piechociński has stated that Poland will not join the Euro until at least 2020.[1]

Euro adoption will require the approval of at least two thirds of the Sejm to make a constitutional amendment changing the official currency from the złoty to the euro.[2] The ruling Law and Justice Party opposes euro adoption.[3][4] Former PM Donald Tusk has said that he may agree to a referendum on euro participation in order to gain their support for a constitutional amendment. Public opinion is against participation according to polls, with more than 70 percent believing that adoption of the euro would be bad for the Polish economy according to one poll from September 2012.[5]

There is not yet any official information on the design process for the Polish national sides of the euro coins.

Political preparations for euro adoption

The euro adoption process in Poland is regulated by the Strategic Framework for National Euro Changeover Plan (adopted by the Council of Ministers in 2010) and the National Euro Changeover Plan (approved in 2011 by the Committee for European Affairs). The plan comprises an economic impact assessment of the euro adoption, followed by a chapter on the measures needed to ensure Polish compliance with the "Maastricht convergence criteria", and finally a roadmap for the euro changeover process.

On 10 September 2008, speaking at the launch of an economic forum in a Polish resort of Krynica-Zdrój, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced the ruling government's objective to join the Eurozone in 2012, which was confirmed by the government on 28 October 2008.[6] However, Poland's then President Lech Kaczynski wanted euro adoption put to a referendum.[7][8] Finance Minister Dominik Radziwill said on 10 July 2009 that Poland could meet the fiscal criteria by 2012 and enter the Eurozone in 2014.[9] On 5 November 2009, speaking at the news conference, Polish Deputy Finance Minister Ludwik Kotecki said the government may announce a national strategy for euro adoption in mid-2010.[10] In an interview for Rzeczpospolita daily 22 October 2009 he also said Poland could adopt the euro in 2014 if the general government deficit is reduced in 2012.[11] Former President Lech Kaczyński said at a news conference that Poland was unable to join Eurozone before 2015, and even that date was still very optimistic. Also, Polish government officials had confirmed that Poland wouldn't join Eurozone in 2012.[12] On Friday, 11 December 2009, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Poland could join the eurozone in 2015.[13] Speaking during Finance Ministry-organized seminar on the euro-adoption process on 15 December 2009, Deputy Minister of Finance Ludwik Kotecki said the year 2015 is more likely than 2014, however he declined to specify the official target date.[14]

In the years following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, economic statistics showed that the devaluation of its floating currency the złoty led Polish products to become more competitively priced to foreign buyers, and because of that Poland had a higher economic GDP growth in subsequent years than if the country had been a part of the eurozone. The Polish government advocated in 2012 that it would only be wise for Poland to join the eurozone once the euro crisis had ended, based on the argument that delaying their accession would minimise the risk for Poland to become one of the net financial creditors to other eurozone countries in financial difficulties.[15]

In December 2011 Polish foreign minister Radosław Sikorski said that Poland aimed to adopt the euro on 1 January 2016, but only if "the eurozone is reformed by then, and the entrance is beneficial to us."[16] The current Polish government plans to comply with all the Euro convergence criteria by 2015.[15] In autumn 2012 the Monetary Policy Council of the Polish National Bank published its official monetary guidelines for 2013, confirming earlier political statements that Poland should only join the ERM-II once the existing eurozone countries have overcome the current sovereign-debt crisis, to maximise the benefits of monetary integration and minimise associated costs.[17] The governor of the National Bank, Marek Belka, has stated that the euro won't be adopted before the end of his term in 2016.[15]

In late 2012, Tusk announced that he planned to launch a "national debate" on euro adoption the following spring, and in December 2012 Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski said that his country should strive to adopt the euro as soon as possible. On 21 December 2012 it was announced by the Ministry of Finance that they planned to update the country's National Euro Changeover Plan in 2013, mainly due to the recent institutional changes in the eurozone which require additional considerations. One of the key details investigated as part of the work to update the plan is whether or not an amendment to Article 227 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland[18] will need to be passed to change the currency from the Złoty to the euro and to enact changes to the central bank.[19][20] The opposition Law and Justice Party opposes euro adoption and the governing parties do not have enough seats in the Sejm to make the required constitutional amendment.[3][4] The Polish Finance Minister emphasised that the government's support for euro adoption remained unchanged as a strategic goal, and would not be changed in the updated plan.[21] At the same time, however, recent turbulences in the EU and in the world have caused the government to adopt a kind of additional criterion for euro adoption, namely the stabilization of the euro area.[22]

In January 2013, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski stated that a decision on euro adoption should not be made until after parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for 2015, but that in the meantime the country should try to comply with the convergence criteria.[3] In February 2013, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the Law and Justice Party stated that "I do not foresee any moment when the adoption of the euro would be advantageous for us" and called for a referendum on euro adoption.[23] Rostowski has stated that Poland won't set a target date for the switch since the country first needs to carry out reforms to prepare itself.[24] In March 2013, Tusk said for the first time that he would be open to considering a referendum on euro participation - decided by simple majority - provided that it was part of a package in which the parliament first approved the necessary constitutional amendment to adopt the euro subject to approval in a referendum.[25] In April 2013 Marek Belka, head of National Bank of Poland, said that Poland should demand to be permitted to adopt the euro without first joining the ERM-II due to concerns over currency speculation.[26] Following the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Belka said that Poland needed to reevaluate its reluctance to join the eurozone.[27][28] In June 2014, a joint statement by the finance minister, central bank chief and president of Poland stated that Poland should begin a debate shortly after the 2015 parliamentary elections about when to adopt the euro,[29] leading to a roadmap decision that might even include identification of a target date.[30]

In October 2014, the Deputy Prime Minister Janusz Piechociński suggested that Poland should join the Eurozone in 2020 at the earliest.[31] The newly elect Prime Minister, Ewa Kopacz, having replaced Donald Tusk for the final year of the government's term, at the same time commented: "Before answering the question which target date should be set for the euro changeover, we must ask another: What is the situation of the eurozone and where are they going? If the eurozone will strengthen, then Poland should fulfil all the criteria for inclusion, which would in any case be good for the economy."[32] The PM hereby referred to the earlier political decision of first letting the National Coordination Committee for Euro Changeover complete its update of the changeover plan, which await a prior establishment of the banking union, before setting a target date for euro adoption.[nb 1] More recently, Krzysztof Szczerski, the foreign affairs advisor to Poland's new President Andrzej Duda, said in July 2015 that "Poles should decide in a referendum whether they want to embrace the euro".[34]

In the 2015 Polish parliamentary election, the winning party became the eurosceptic Law and Justice, which opposes euro adoption.

Public opinion

In 2010, the eurozone's debt crisis caused Poles' interest to cool, with two out of five Poles opposed to entry.[35] In March 2011, research by CBOS showed that 60% of Poles were against adopting the euro while 32% were supportive, a decrease from 41% in April 2010.[36] Surveys in the first half of 2012 indicated that 60% of Poles were opposed to adopting the common currency.[37] Public support for the euro continued to fall, reaching record lows in the CBOS polls from July 2012, where only 25% of those polled supported a switch to the euro.[38] However, polls conducted by TNS Polska throughout 2012–2015 have consistently shown support for eventually adopting the euro, though that support depends on the target date (as revealed by the detailed data in the table below).

Date YES NO Undecided Number of participants Held by Ref
10–13 May 2012 51%
(13% by the end of 2014)
(38% after 2014)
28% 21% 1000 TNS Polska [39]
6–11 September 2013 49%
(11% within 5yr)
(18% in 6-10yr)
(20% later than 10yr)
40% 11% 1000 TNS Polska [40]
6–11 December 2013 45%
(12% within 5yr)
(16% in 6-10yr)
(17% later than 10yr)
40% 15% 1000 TNS Polska [41]
7–12 March 2014 44%
(14% within 5yr)
(14% in 6-10yr)
(16% later than 10yr)
42% 14% 1000 TNS Polska [42]
6–11 June 2014 46%
(14% within 5yr)
(13% in 6-10yr)
(19% later than 10yr)
42% 12% ? TNS Polska [43]
5–10 September 2014 45%
(14% within 5yr)
(14% in 6-10yr)
(17% later than 10yr)
42% 13% 1000 TNS Polska [44]
5–10 December 2014 49%
(16% within 5yr)
(15% in 6-10yr)
(18% later than 10yr)
40% 11% 1000 TNS Polska [45]
13–18 March 2015 44%
(13% within 5yr)
(12% in 6-10yr)
(19% later than 10yr)
41% 15% 1000 TNS Polska [46]
12–17 June 2015 46%
(15% within 5yr)
(14% in 6-10yr)
(17% later than 10yr)
41% 13% 1015 TNS Polska [47]

The adoption support found by the 2012-15 surveys in the above table, was detected while a majority of Poles in the same surveys said they expected the euro adoption would negatively impact the Polish economy. In example, 58% of the surveyed in May 2012 had this belief.[48] A later poll for the German Marshall Fund published in September 2012, even found 71% of Poles believed an immediate switch to the euro would be bad for the Polish economy.[5]

According to a standard eurobarometer poll in April 2015, 44% of Polish people were in favour of introducing the euro (a decrease of 1% from 2014) while 53% were opposed (no change from 2014).[49][50] The eurobarometer poll does not take adoption timing issues into concern, meaning that this result can not be directly compared to the above results of the TNS Polska surveys, as a percentage of those being surveyed might respond with a more negative bias (assuming the survey question is about if they favour adoption now" rather than favour "adoption either now or at a later point of time perceived as being more optimal for their country").

Convergence criteria

The Maastricht Treaty originally required that all members of the European Union join the euro once certain economic criteria are met. As of June 2016, Poland met 3 out of the 5 criteria.

Convergence criteria
Assessment month Country HICP inflation rate[51][nb 2] Excessive deficit procedure[52] Exchange rate Long-term interest rate[53][nb 3] Compatibility of legislation
Budget deficit to GDP[54] Debt-to-GDP ratio ERM II member[55] Change in rate[56][57][nb 4]
2012 ECB Report[nb 5] Reference values Max. 3.1%[nb 6] Max. 60%
(Fiscal year 2011)[59]
 Poland 4.0% Open No -3.2% 5.77% No
5.1% 56.3%
2013 ECB Report[nb 9] Reference values Max. 2.7%[nb 10] Max. 60%
(Fiscal year 2012)[62]
 Poland 2.7% Open No -1.6% 4.44% Unknown
3.9% 55.6%
2014 ECB Report[nb 11] Reference values Max. 1.7%[nb 12] Max. 60%
(Fiscal year 2013)[65]
 Poland 0.6% Open No -0.3% 4.19% No
4.3% 57.0%
2016 ECB Report[nb 13] Reference values Max. 0.7%[nb 14] Max. 60%
(Fiscal year 2015)[68]
 Poland -0.5% None No 0.0% 2.9% No
2.6% 51.3%
  Criterion fulfilled
  Criterion potentially fulfilled: If the budget deficit exceeds the 3% limit, but is "close" to this value (the European Commission has deemed 3.5% to be close by in the past),[69] then the criteria can still potentially be fulfilled if either the deficits in the previous two years are significantly declining towards the 3% limit, or if the excessive deficit is the result of exceptional circumstances which are temporary in nature (i.e. one-off expenditures triggered by a significant economic downturn, or by the implementation of economic reforms that are expected to deliver a significant positive impact on the government's future fiscal budgets). However, even if such "special circumstances" are found to exist, additional criteria must also be met to comply with the fiscal budget criterion.[70][71] Additionally, if the debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 60% but is "sufficiently diminishing and approaching the reference value at a satisfactory pace" it can be deemed to be in compliance.[71]
  Criterion not fulfilled

  1. Cite from the 2014 Polish convergence report: Due to the significant reform agenda in the European Union and in the euro area, the current objective is to update the National Euro Changeover Plan with reference to the impact of those changes on Poland’s euro adoption strategy. The date of completion of the document is conditional on the adoption of binding solutions on the EU forum concerning the key institutional changes, in particular, those referring to the banking union. The outcome of these changes determines the area of the necessary institutional and legal adjustments as well as the national balance of costs and benefits arising from introduction of the common currency.[33]
  2. The rate of increase of the 12-month average HICP over the prior 12-month average must be no more than 1.5% larger than the unweighted arithmetic average of the similar HICP inflation rates in the 3 EU member states with the lowest HICP inflation. If any of these 3 states have a HICP rate significantly below the similarly averaged HICP rate for the eurozone (which according to ECB practice means more than 2% below), and if this low HICP rate has been primarily caused by exceptional circumstances (i.e. severe wage cuts or a strong recession), then such a state is not included in the calculation of the reference value and is replaced by the EU state with the fourth lowest HICP rate.
  3. The arithmetic average of the annual yield of 10-year government bonds as of the end of the past 12 months must be no more than 2.0% larger than the unweighted arithmetic average of the bond yields in the 3 EU member states with the lowest HICP inflation. If any of these states have bond yields which are significantly larger than the similarly averaged yield for the eurozone (which according to previous ECB reports means more than 2% above) and at the same time does not have complete funding access to financial markets (which is the case for as long as a government receives bailout funds), then such a state is not be included in the calculation of the reference value.
  4. The change in the annual average exchange rate against the euro.
  5. Reference values from the ECB convergence report of May 2012.[58]
  6. Sweden, Ireland and Slovenia were the reference states.[58]</ref>
    (as of 31 Mar 2012) target date for Polish euro None open (as of 31 March 2012) ERM-II (the fifth [[euro con Min. 2 years
    (as of 31 Mar 2012) ry's former Deputy Prime Mini Max. ±15%[nb 7]
    (for 2011) ocinski-w-strefie-euro-znajdz Max. 5.80%[nb 8]
    (as of 31 Mar 2012) ic Party]] opposes euro adoptio Max. 3.0%
    (Fiscal year 2011)<ref name='EC Spring Forecast 2012'>"European economic forecast - spring 2012" (PDF). European Commission. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  7. 1 2 3 4 The maximum allowed change in rate is ± 2.25% for Denmark.
  8. Sweden and Slovenia were the reference states, with Ireland excluded as an outlier.[58]</ref>
    (as of 31 Mar 2012) make a constitutional amendme Yes<ref>"Convergence Report - 2012" (PDF). European Commission. March 2012. Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  9. Reference values from the ECB convergence report of June 2013.[60]
  10. 1 2 Sweden, Latvia and Ireland were the reference states.[60]</ref>
    (as of 30 Apr 2013) There is no target date for None open (as of 30 Apr 2013) untry will join ERM-II (the f Min. 2 years
    (as of 30 Apr 2013) n]]). The country's former De Max. ±15%[nb 7]
    (for 2012) osci/news/piechocinski-w-stre Max. 5.5%[nb 10]
    (as of 30 Apr 2013) =facts_news_small&iwa_testab= Yes[61]
    (as of 30 Apr 2013) aw e wprowadzenia unijnej waluty Max. 3.0%
    (Fiscal year 2012)<ref name='EC Spring Forecast 2013'>"European economic forecast - spring 2013" (PDF). European Commission. February 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  11. Reference values from the ECB convergence report of June 2014.[63]
  12. 1 2 Latvia, Portugal and Ireland were the reference states.[63]</ref>
    (as of 30 Apr 2014) s no target date for Polish e None open (as of 30 Apr 2014) l join ERM-II (the fifth [[eu Min. 2 years
    (as of 30 Apr 2014) country's former Deputy Prim Max. ±15%[nb 7]
    (for 2013) /piechocinski-w-strefie-euro- Max. 6.2%[nb 12]
    (as of 30 Apr 2014) ws_small&iwa_testab=a</ref> Yes[64]
    (as of 30 Apr 2014) wa zenia unijnej waluty bez zmia Max. 3.0%
    (Fiscal year 2013)<ref name='EC Spring Forecast 2014'>"European economic forecast - spring 2014" (PDF). European Commission. March 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  13. Reference values from the ECB convergence report of June 2016.[66]
  14. 1 2 Bulgaria, Slovenia and Spain were the reference states.[66]</ref>
    (as of 30 Apr 2016) s no target date for Polish e None open (as of 18 May 2016) l join ERM-II (the fifth [[eu Min. 2 years
    (as of 18 May 2016) country's former Deputy Prim Max. ±15%[nb 7]
    (for 2015) /piechocinski-w-strefie-euro- Max. 4.0%[nb 14]
    (as of 30 Apr 2016) ws_small&iwa_testab=a</ref> Yes[67]
    (as of 18 May 2016) pr wie wprowadzenia unijnej walu Max. 3.0%
    (Fiscal year 2015)<ref name='EC Spring Forecast 2016'>"European economic forecast - spring 2016" (PDF). European Commission. May 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.

See also


  1. Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received recognition as an independent state from 110 out of 193 United Nations member states.


  1. http://biznes.interia.pl/wiadomosci/news/piechocinski-w-strefie-euro-znajdziemy-sie-najwczesniej-po,2051575,4199#iwa_item=5&iwa_img=0&iwa_hash=16484&iwa_block=facts_news_small&iwa_testab=a
  2. Odpowiedź na interpelację w sprawie wprowadzenia unijnej waluty bez zmiany konstytucji
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