No country can be forced to adopt the euro as its currency, a leading economist has told MSPs.
Dr Fabian Zuleeg, chief economist with the European Policy Centre think tank, said it was "very easy" for countries who did not want to use the European currency to deliberately fail to meet the entry conditions.
The Scottish Government insists that if Scotland votes to leave the UK it will retain the pound as its currency. But the SNP's opponents have argued an independent Scotland may have to adopt the euro as part of the conditions of joining the European Union (EU).
However, Dr Zuleeg said that "no country in the European Union can be forced to introduce the euro".
The economist was not specifically asked about Scotland's situation, but he told members of Holyrood's European and External Affairs Committee that while only two countries had a formal opt-out of euro membership, in practice other countries could fail to meet the entry requirements if they did not want to adopt the currency.
He said: "There is a provision that any member of the European Union which does not have a formal opt-out is committed to joining the euro at some point.
"The only two formal opt-outs we have are Denmark and the UK. However, to actually join the euro you have to fulfil a number of conditions and unless those conditions are fulfilled you cannot join the euro."
Dr Zuleeg said to join the euro, countries first had to be in the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). But he explained as membership of this is voluntary, countries such as Sweden can refuse to join the ERM, and therefore will automatically fail to meet the conditions for adopting the euro.
"There is no way of forcing a country to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism and you have to have your country stable in the Exchange Rate Mechanism for at least two years," the economist said.
"So, what we've seen in the past is that countries like Sweden just simply are not part of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, so they can not be forced to introduce the euro. So, no country in the European Union can be forced to introduce the euro."