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Bulgaria and Romania join the European Union

2 January 2007

On 1 January 2007 the European Union (EU) was enlarged through the accession of two new Member States, namely Bulgaria and Romania.

As from this date, the national central banks (NCBs) of the new Member States are integrated into the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), and their respective Governors become members of the General Council of the European Central Bank (ECB). In addition, experts from these NCBs in the ESCB Committees have member status whenever the committees meet in ESCB composition. Since the Accession Treaties were signed in April 2005, the Governors of the NCBs of the two new Member States and their experts have been participating as observers in the meetings of the General Council and the committees respectively.

The new Member States will not adopt the euro immediately. They will do so once they have fulfilled the requirements laid down in the Treaty establishing the European Community. Unlike Denmark and the United Kingdom, the two new Member States do not have the right to opt out of adopting the single currency.

Both the ECB and the European Commission will prepare convergence reports every two years, or at the request of a “Member State with a derogation”. These reports provide the basis for the EU Council’s decision on whether the Member State concerned fulfils the necessary conditions for the adoption of the euro.

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