The eastern European nation of Bulgaria has provided the EU with some much-needed confidence, forging ahead with more integration despite rising anti-euro sentiment across the continent.
Bulgaria, who's been a member of the EU since 2007, wants to move forward with its European integration and join the euro area as soon as possible. The Bulgarian Finance Ministry told CNBC via email: "We work actively to join the ERM II, which is the first step to proceed to a simultaneous membership of the banking union and the euro area." The ERM-II exchange rate mechanism ensures that exchange rates with the euro do not fluctuate significantly. Bulgaria wants to join this before the end of the year, to therefore be one step closer to turning the euro zone into a 20-member club.
"The desire to join the euro area is both a political and economic aspiration," Alfonso Velasco Tamames, Bulgaria analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), told CNBC via email.
Bulgaria ranks second among the EU's 28 nations for trust in Brussels. According to the latest survey on how Europeans feel about the European Union, 57 percent of Bulgarians said they trust in the EU, compared to 64 percent in Lithuania and 56 percent in Luxembourg. Greece and the United Kingdom saw the highest number of people with the opposite view, with 74 and 59 percent respectively.
Sixty-one percent of Bulgarians also said they are optimistic about the future of the EU.
"For the current pro-EU government, further integration with the core of the EU has also responded to concerns of being relegated to a second tier of countries in a multi-speed EU given (France's President) Emmanuel Macron's strong push last year for euro area reform," Tamames from the EIU also said.
According to Macron, the euro zone needs to integrate further to become better prepared for future crises. He has defended those countries willing and ready to integrate now and believes they should move ahead even if other European countries aren't convinced — potentially creating varying levels of integration within the socio-economic bloc.