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Bulgaria sets roadmap to euro membership

Staff Writer |
Bulgaria’s government approved an action plan on Wednesday that envisages the country entering the “waiting room” for euro membership and also joining the European Union’s banking union by the end of June next year.

Bulgaria applied in July to enter the exchange rate mechanism (ERM-2), a mandatory two-year precursor to adopting the euro, after euro zone finance ministers and the European Central Bank gave Sofia the green light.

Bulgaria, whose lev currency has long been pegged to the euro via a currency board, is the first non-euro zone member to seek to join the banking union, which will allow the ECB to monitor its top lenders.

To enhance its chances, Sofia must improve its macro-financial framework, strengthen supervision of non-banking financial sector including pension funds and insurance firms, as well as working harder for combating money laundering.

It also needs to improve the bankruptcy legal framework after reviewing legislation and drafting the relevant legislative amendments.

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