On June 27, it was decided to let three new members join the European Monetary System (the ERM II), which is one requirement for later admission to the monetary union. Therefore, if all things go smoothly, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovenia will become members of EMU in about two years’ time. Membership in the EMU is part of the acquis communautaire and as such it is mandatory for new members (Denmark and the UK have an opt out, while Sweden has decided not to fulfi l the criteria for membership by not joining the ERM II). Other criteria for being admitted to EMU concern the nominal interest rate, the rate of infl ation, and the infamous fi scal criteria relating to budget defi cits and the debt stock. All statements from the Commission and the Council of Ministers suggest that these criteria will be interpreted strictly.
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