Vladislav Goranov, Bulgaria's minister of finance, and Valdis Dombrovskis, commission vice president for the euro and social dialogue, recently held a press conference on Bulgaria’s progress toward joining the ERM 2 and the euro area.
"Our position in principle is that Bulgaria can only benefit from joining the ERM 2 and the euro area itself,” Goranov said in an announcement. “We will maintain this focus and will strive to convince our partners that there is still a long way ahead of us but the entry into ERM 2 would be an acknowledgment of the efforts of the Bulgarian society and its confidence in the common European idea.”
The event came after the European Commission’s country-specific recommendations for Bulgaria in the European Semester 2017 framework. Goranov acknowledged the areas in which Bulgaria does not yet meet EU norms. For example, the country’s GDP per capita is approximately 49 percent of the European average, whereas countries joining the union are typically at 70 percent. But he was confident in the country’s continued growth and noted that Brexit may have an effect on the union’s willingness to accept new members.
"The growth of the Bulgarian economy was 2.9 percent for the previous year, which is well above the EU average, and the forecast for the coming year is also high,” Dombrovskis, who also handles the commission’s Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union portfolio, said. “The momentum that Bulgaria has gained is very good because it would lead to improved standard of living, wages and pensions."