At the end of the first half of the transitional period, this communication provides an overview of the preparations undertaken so far and those required for the final changeover to the euro at the beginning of 2002. Two events are associated with the end of the transitional period: as from 1 January 2002, the euro will no longer be divided into national currency units, and in the weeks following this date the national banknotes and coins will be replaced by euro-denominated notes and coins. While purely technical or practical in nature, these two events do have implications which are without precedent in monetary history.
The overview provided in this communication is structured to reflect the two challenges at the end of next year, i.e. changing every currency amount from national sub-divisions to the euro, and withdrawing the old banknotes and coins while introducing the new ones.