The continuation of economic and structural reforms encouraged stable economic development of Latvia from the second half of the 1990s. From 2000 the EU accession process played an important part in the economic development of Latvia. The first negotiations on the EU accession began on 28 March 2000.
On 20 September 2003 a referendum on the European Union membership was held in Latvia. 71.5 % of the electorate took part in the referendum; 67.0 % voted for, 32.3 % — against. On 29 March 2004 Latvia joined the NATO and on 1 May 2004 became a member state of the European Union. The final decision about including Latvia in the euro area was made by the EU on 9 July 2013. On 1 January 2014 the introduction procedure of euro was implemented in line with a plan adopted earlier by the Government of Latvia.