Since beginning economic transition, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia have—with much success—employed diverse exchange rate regimes. As these countries approach EU accession, they will need to avoid the perils of too much or too little exchange rate variability when capital flows are likely to be large and volatile; narrow band arrangements in particular could be problematic. The exception is Estonia, where there are good arguments for retaining the currency board arrangement. Countries wishing to join the euro area at an early stage should not leave the removal of remaining capital controls to the last minute.
The more advanced Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) face an evolving set of considerations in choosing their exchange rate policies. On the one hand, capital mobility is increasing, and this imposes additional constraints on fixed exchange rate regimes, while trend real appreciation makes the combination of low inflation and exchange rate stability problematic. On the other hand, the objectives of EU and eventual EMU membership make attractive a peg to the euro at some stage in the transition. The paper discusses these conflicting considerations, and considers the feasibility of an alternative monetary framework, inflation targeting.