European Union finance ministers on Tuesday formally approved Croatia becoming the 20th member of the euro common currency at the start of 2023.
The European Council, the grouping of 27 EU governments, adopted three legal acts required to allow Croatia - an EU member since 2013 - to introduce the euro on Jan. 1.
One of those acts set the conversion rate for entry at one euro to 7.53450 Croatian kuna, with Croatia now having a few months to prepare the practicalities for the currency switch.
To adopt the euro, Croatia had to fulfil criteria of price and exchange rate stability, sound public finances and moderate long-term interest rates, all measured against EU benchmarks.
The European Commission also examined Croatia's economic convergence with the rest of the euro zone, including balance of payments trends and the integration of its labour and financial markets, and verified that Croatian legislation is compatible with EU laws governing the European Central Bank.
Croatia, in southeastern Europe, has been a independent country since 1991 when it left then-federal Yugoslavia. Neighbouring Slovenia, also an ex-Yugoslav republic and now EU member, adopted the euro in 2007.
"Adopting the euro is not a race, but a responsible political decision," said Zbynek Stanjura, finance minister of the Czech Republic, which holds the current six-month rotating presidency of the European Union. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Bart Meijer, editing by Mark Heinrich)