On 1 January 2002, the Euro became official tender in
12 EU Member States (group 1), in 4 other European countries and 2
territories on the Balkans (group 2 + 3), in a number of territories
and islands in the world which are part of or associated with one
Euro area Member State (group 4). The Euro has also relative stable
exchange relations with a number of countries which, because of
their past, have specific ties with a Member State of the European
Union (group 5).
The "Euro-area"(see also map)
here in more details (groups):
1) EU Member States in which the "Euro" is the official currency:
België/Belgique (B), Deutschland (D), Ellas (GR), España (E), France
(F), Ireland, (IRL), Italia (I), Luxemburg (L), Nederland (NL),
Österreich (A), Portugal (P), Suomi/Finland (FIN).
2) European countries which are using the Euro on the basis of a
formal arrangement with the European Community:
Monaco (MC), San Marino (RSM), Vaticano (V).
3) Third countries or territories which are using the Euro without
Andorra (AND), Montenegro, Kosovo.
4) Overseas departments, territories and islands which are either
part of or associated with Euro area Member States and where the
Euro is legal tender:
Alhucemas (E), Azores (P), Ceuta (E), Guadeloupe with Désirade, Les
Saintes, Marie-Galante, St. Barthelemy, St. Martin (F), Guyane (F),
Islas Baleares (E), Islas Canarias (E), Islas Chafarinas (E),
Madeira (P), Martinique (F), Mayotte (F), Melilla (E), Réunion (F),
St. Pierre et Miquelon (F), St. Velez de la Gomera (E), Terres
Australes et Antarctiques Fransçaise (TAAF) with "Archipel Crozet",
"Archipel des Kerquelen", Iles St. Paul, Nouvelle Amsterdam, Terre
5) Countries, regions and territories which have stable exchange
rate relations with the Euro (but not legal tender)
"Franc-pacifique" (CFP) > Polynésie Française
Wallis et Futuna (Territoires d'Outre Mer /TOM);
"Zone-franc" (CFA) > Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine
(UEMOA) 2), > Communauté économique et monétaire de l'Afrique
Centrale (CEMAC) 3 ), > Comores;
"Cabo Verde Escudo" (CVE) > Cabo Verde
On February 7, 1992, the Member States of the European Union (EU)
decided in Maastricht to develop the EU into an Economic and
Monetary Union (EMU, Treaty of Maastricht).
In May (1-3) 1998, all EU Member States decided to enter into the
third stage of the Economic and Monetary Union; they confirmed that
eleven 4) Member States had fulfilled the necessary conditions and
that the existing exchange relations on the market between the
concerned currencies shall be the basis for the start of the single
currency, the "Euro", on new years eve of 1999.
On 1 January 1999, these eleven EU countries started the Euro-zone.
On that day, the exchange rates between their currencies were
irrevocably fixed and the Euro was officially introduced as legal
currency for these Member States; as there were no Euro bank notes
and coins, the Euro remained a book and accounting currency while
the concerned national currencies (bank notes and coins) became a
non-decimal sub-unit of the Euro. Greece joined the Euro-zone on 1
On 1 January 2002, Euro coins and bank notes were introduced and
until February 28, 2002 the national currencies of the present
twelve members of the Euro-zone disappeared.
The UK and Denmark (having got in the Maastricht treaty an
exception) decided, for the time being, to stay out of the
Euro-zone. As Sweden did not submit its currency to the conditions
of the exchange rate mechanism (ERM II, central rate to the Euro,
maximum band of fluctuation + 15%, no devaluation of the currency
since 2 years), one of the convergence criteria is not fulfilled yet
for participating in the Euro-zone. The successful introduction of
the Euro bank notes and coins on 1 January 2002 might restart the
political debate in these three countries of the European Union.
3) Guinea Ecuatorial, Gabon,
Cameroon/Cameroun, Kongo (Rep. Pop.), Tchad/Taschaad, Centrafricaine
4 ) A, B, D, E, F, IRL, I, L NL, A, P, FIN; on January 1,
2001, GR (Ellas) joint the Euro-zone as 12th Member State.