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All EU members will join EMU

When he outlines his vision of future economic integration within the European Union, Minister of Finance Sauli Niinistö uses a metaphor drawn from Finland's rural past:

"When one went visiting in the country in the old days, there were four stages. First the visitor appeared in the yard. Then he went to the porch, cleared his throat and knocked. Then he sat down on the bench provided for visitors beside the parlour door. Only in the fourth stage did he take his place at the table. Now Europe is divided in very much the same way. The euro countries are sitting at the parlour table, whilst the Union members that have remained outside EMU are sitting by the door. The five countries that are seeking to be admitted in the next enlargement are out in the porch knocking. The other countries of Europe are making themselves visible in the yard - and that includes Russia, from which sounds indicating this have been heard. I don't believe the countries sitting by the door (Britain, Sweden and Denmark) will stay where they are when the others arrive. I believe that is the latest point at which a decision will have to be made," says Niinistö.

The minister points out that anyway the economies of the EU countries that remain outside EMU will be inextricably within the sphere of influence of the euro, because it will be such an important economy in the world.