The acquis in the area of economic and monetary policy refers to specific rules requiring the independence of central banks in Member States, prohibiting direct financing of the public sector by central banks and prohibiting privileged access of the public sector to financial institutions.
The Member States are expected to treat economic policies as a matter of common interest and to co-ordinate their economic policies and keep national budgets stable.
Alignment of economic policies includes joint planning of economic integration, encouraging growth, job safety, and the EU’s global economic competitiveness.
In order to join the European Monetary Union (EMU), candidate States must fulfil Maastricht Criteria from 1992:
- Stable prices: inflation rate can be up to 1.5% higher that in three countries with the lowest inflation rate.
- Stable public finance: budgetary deficit can be up to 3% of the GDP; public debt can be up to 60% of the GDP.
In addition to economic criteria, all countries must meet institutional criteria: harmonising legislation with the acquis and ensuring Central Bank independence (functional, institutional, and personal independence).
* Until September 2013, head of the working group was Zorica Kalezić, Adviser to the Vice-Governor of the Central Bank.