Governors of the central banks of the Baltic States: Lithuania joining the euro area would benefit the whole region

As the decision of the European institutions on inviting Lithuania to join the euro area approaches, the governors of the central banks of the Baltic States, claim that joining the euro area would strengthen not only Lithuania, but the whole Baltic region as well.

“With Lithuania entering the European Monetary Union, the region of all three Baltic States would, in economic and political terms, become more coherent.
The single European currency is seen as a factor reducing the country’s risk; therefore, together we will have more opportunities to grow, trade will increase and this will create good conditions for the rise of the living standards of the  population in the region,” says Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.

According to him, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, in harmoniously turning towards the euro one after another, have proven that they are able to conduct responsible financial policy, overcome crises and ensure sustainable growth.

Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, the Governor of the Central Bank of Latvia, which at the beginning of the year adopted the euro, states that the participation of all Baltic States in the single currency area will be a great asset to their economies, inter alia export-oriented businesses, also providing an opportunity to be involved in the economic activities as a region.

“A regional approach will also help us work jointly towards the implementation of our common understanding of what the future EU should be like. In practical terms, it also meant pulling down yet another barrier in communication among people, when travelling or doing business, and this factor should not be underestimated: actually,  Lithuania and Latvia have the longest borderline of almost 600 km,” says I. Rimšēvičs

Ardo Hansson, the Governor of the Central Bank of Estonia, which was the first Baltic State to join the euro area, emphasises that Estonia’s three-year euro area experience has affirmed the belief that the adoption of the euro was the right decision, which has helped to deepen our economic relations with Europe.

“With Latvia enjoying the first benefits of the single currency area and Lithuania on a firm path of becoming its member, we are not only expanding the borders of the single currency area, but also firmly securing the place of the Baltic States within Europe and the prospects for economic strengthening of the region as a whole,” says A. Hansson.

The governors of the central banks of the Baltic States, at the anuall meeting taking place in Vilnius, besides the euro adoption, also plan to discuss today the preparations for the banking union and the economic challenges to be faced in the near future.