File Photo: European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis addresses a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, July 15, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
The eurozone is not expected to welcome any new members in the coming years, as the region's long crisis seems to have put some countries off, deputy European Commission chief said in a newspaper interview Monday.
"No new members are expected to join in the next few years," Valdis Dombrovskis told the daily Die Welt.
Dombrovskis is the EU Commissioner in charge of the euro and social dialogue.
Out of the 28 EU member states, 19 have signed up to the single currency.
"Before a country joins the euro, it must have a fixed exchange rate to the euro. This mechanism is the waiting room for eurozone membership," Dombrovskis said.
But at the moment, no EU member is in the "euro waiting room", with the exception of Denmark, which has a special status, he said.
Dombrovskis said that Bulgaria and Romania had both expressed interest in taking the first step to joining the euro.
And preliminary talks have also been held with the previous government in Poland.
"But it may be the case that the new government in Warsaw is somewhat more reserved," Dombrovskis said.
"Initially, joining the euro seemed attractive to the new EU members. But the euro crisis changed this. And the Greek crisis all the more so," he said.
The last countries to join the euro were Latvia in 2014 and Lithuania in 2015.