Bulgaria: The introduction of the euro is planned for January 1, 2024

Bulgaria: The introduction of the euro is planned for January 1, 2024

At its meeting today, the Coordination Council for Preparation of the Republic of Bulgaria for Eurozone Membership, co-chaired by the Governor of the Bulgarian National Bank Dimitar Radev and the Minister of Finance Asen Vassilev, adopted a draft National Plan for the Introduction of the Euro and in the Eurozone of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria’s commitment to adopt the single European currency was reaffirmed in the Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union, after it was initially stated at the start of country’s EU membership negotiations.

Preparations for Bulgaria’s accession to the euro area are on target date 1 January 2024. The introduction of the euro is planned without a transitional period, and the date of adoption of the euro will coincide with its introduction as an official unit of payment. The conversion will be done by applying the irrevocably fixed exchange rate between the euro and the lev. And after the introduction of the euro within a month, the lev and the euro will be both legal tender.

The National Plan for the Introduction of the Euro in Bulgaria is the strategic document on the basis of which the operational work for the replacement of the lev with the euro will be implemented. The plan was developed by the Coordination Council for the preparation of the Republic of Bulgaria for membership in the euro area and in its preparation the good practices of the euro area member states were followed.

The document was prepared and adopted within 30 June 2021, set in Decree № 103 of the Council of Ministers of 25 March 2021 amending Decree № 168 of the Council of Ministers of 2015 on the establishment of a Coordination Council for the preparation of Republic of Bulgaria for membership in the euro area.

The draft National Plan for the Introduction of the Euro in the Republic of Bulgaria will be published for public discussion before its submission for consideration by the Council of Ministers.

The National Plan for the Introduction of the Euro in Bulgaria describes the principles, the institutional and legal-normative framework for the adoption of the euro, as well as the main activities for the successful introduction of the euro from January 1, 2024.

The document addresses all the important operational activities and measures that participants in preparation for the introduction of the euro – the private, public sector and citizens – should carry out as part of the process of adopting the euro. The rules for recalculation of prices and other values ​​are defined, the procedures for cash exchange and for conversion of BGN deposits and loans with fixed and variable interest rates are explained. The procedures for the supply and distribution of euro banknotes and coins are indicated, the necessary legislative changes are described. This document also includes the main principles and stages of the information campaign aimed at raising awareness of Bulgarian citizens about how to replace the lev with the euro, visual and security features of euro banknotes and coins, consumer protection measures and other important issues related to the introduction of the euro.

The specific tasks to be performed in the process of preparation for membership in the euro area, with the specific deadlines and institutions responsible for implementation will be detailed in the Action Plan to the National Plan for the Introduction of the Euro in the Republic of Bulgaria./ibna