Poland’s Membership in the Economic and Monetary Union
On 1 of May 2004 ten new countries joined the European Union. Among them - Poland for which EU accession was a priority since the beginning of the transition of its economy in the early 90s. Becoming EU member is not however the last stage in the process of economic integration within the organization. In the Accession Treaties Poland agreed also to adopt the common currency. Because joining EU did not automatically solve many structural problems that this still transforming economy experiences, it seems crucial to investigate the degree of real convergence between this country and Euro zone. Therefore, this debate was dedicated to measuring the extent to which Poland meets the criteria of Optimal Currency Area theories that were elaborated to measure effectiveness of currency areas. All OCA theories have been presented and applied to the current situation of Poland’s euro adoption. The participants presented the degree of economical cycles’ symmetry and the degree of symmetric shocks between Poland and Euro zone. The labour mobility, wage flexibility, capital mobility, degree of openness and diversification of Polish economy, and the budgetary policy have also been shown by the participants. The above mentioned factors have been chosen since they are considered to be absorbers of country-specific shocks. Therefore, the effectives of these factors, determines possible costs that result from giving up independent monetary policy. As a consequence, the more symmetrical are shocks experienced by countries the less probable is that a country will experience negative effects of loosing its own monetary policy. The higher capital and labour mobility between regions the better prepared will be such a country to deal with asymmetric shocks. Apart from OCA theories, the debate referred to Convergence Reports of European Central Bank and European Commission. All together they constitute a detailed insight into the situation and present areas where some improvements have to be done in order to successfully adopt the common currency and fully benefit from it.