According to ECB President Christine Lagarde, Croatia has officially joined the eurozone. In a statement, Lagarde said,
"Croatia worked hard to become the 20th member of the euro area, and it succeeded. It shows the euro is an attractive currency, which brings stability to its members."
The addition of Croatia increases the number of policymakers on the ECB Governing Council to 26, with Croatian National Bank Governor Boris Vujcic joining the ranks of rate setters.
Romania and Bulgaria Face Challenges in Eurozone Bid
While Croatia has successfully joined the eurozone, the path to membership has been more difficult for Romania and Bulgaria. Romania's bid has been hindered by internal conflict, with the highest turnover of governments in the European Union.
Bulgaria, the poorest country in the EU, hopes to join in 2024, but European officials are concerned about the readiness of its economy and banking system for the transition. Adopting the euro is a requirement for EU membership, though the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Sweden have shown little interest in joining. Denmark, which has an opt-out clause, also remains outside the eurozone.