As Bulgaria and Croatia bid to join the euro, is there life in the currency yet?

In addition, they are likely to have a negligible impact on the bloc either economically or politically. The combined size of their economies is less than 5pc of the UK’s GDP and the two countries have a lower output than Ethiopia, Guatemala and city state Luxembourg. That lessens the risk of any Greek-style disaster, but allowing them into the club adds little value.

More importantly, much larger EU countries that are not in the eurozone are conspicuous by their absence. The region is surrounded by several large economies that are resistant to joining, including Sweden, Denmark, Hungary and Poland.

“For Poland the economic benefits might not be as large any more, [or] for Denmark and Sweden, which have established currencies and certainly don’t have a credibility problem,” explains Odendahl.

“Poland is already integrated into the supply chains of Europe quite deeply, despite having a different currency.”

Leaders in Poland, the 21st largest economy in the world, have shunned the euro and the country is unlikely to join any time soon. The head of the central bank and the governing Law and Justice party (PiS) have railed against the euro’s adoption, and pro-Europe campaigners in Poland were dealt a blow last week. 

Relations with the EU were a key issue in Sunday’s presidential election in Poland, which was narrowly won by incumbent Andrzej Duda who aligns with PiS. Meanwhile, Hungary’s government and central bank have also ruled out its adoption.

“I don’t see it as necessarily the final destination for the Czech Republic and Poland, but for Bulgaria and Croatia it is for them politically a big step,” says Odendahl.

While Bulgaria and Croatia’s intent to join the eurozone has been welcomed in Frankfurt, bigger prizes remain elusive for the bloc.

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