The European Commission resumes its Workshop on EMU for accession countries

January 26, 2023

From December 12 to 16, 2022, the European Commission delivered at the JVI its traditional Workshop on the Functioning of Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The Workshop has been delivered every year since 1999, with the exception of the pandemic years. It is funded by the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange (TAIEX) instrument of the European Commission, which supports partner countries’ public administrations regarding EU legislation and best practices. The course targets officials from seven countries (six Western Balkan countries and Türkiye) having the status of candidates or potential candidates to join the EU. A total of 28 participants, mostly from ministries of finance and central banks, attended this year’s Workshop. Speakers included experts from the European Commission, the ECB, EU Member States and international financial institutions. 

The Workshop helps officials from the targeted countries get better acquainted with the regulatory, institutional and policy framework for EMU, as well as the pre-accession macroeconomic surveillance process, including the preparation of the “Economic Reform Programmes”. With some of these countries already in accession negotiations, a better understanding of the regulatory obligations stemming from EMU is particularly useful. Lectures on the EMU framework addressed aspects such as the Stability and Growth Pact, the European Semester, the banking union, and the international role of the euro. They also discussed the criteria for accessing the euro area, with particular focus on Croatia’s preparations to adopt the euro in January 2023. The EMU framework is complex and ever changing and the Workshop devoted several lectures to discussing how the EU’s ongoing Economic Governance Review may affect it. 

In addition to the lectures, the Workshop helps participants apply the main concepts learned to practical country cases in the context of several working groups where a hands-on approach is used. It also facilitates the development of professional links both among participants and between them and their counterparts in the EU institutions. As in previous years, this year’s Workshop enjoyed very favourable feedback from participants, as reflected in the evaluation survey conducted at the end of it. Participants appreciated in particular the expertise of speakers as real policy practitioners and insiders, as well as the frank discussions that take place during the lectures.

The European Commission is now considering expanding, starting next year, the geographical coverage of participant countries to include Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as new candidate or potential candidate countries for EU membership. The next delivery of the Workshop is planned for early December 2023.

Heliodoro Temprano Arroyo, Workshop Coordinator, Advisor, European Commission


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