The euro is the single, official European currency used by (currently) 20 Member States of the European Union (EU). Together these Member States make up the euro area.
Stage III of economic and monetary union (EMU) began on 1 January 1999 with the introduction of the euro, which replaced the European currency unit (ECU) on a 1:1 basis. On that date, the national currencies of 11 EU Member States (Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland) were fixed to the euro at irrevocable conversion rates. Greece joined them on 1 January 2001.
Until the end of 2001, the euro existed as book money only (cheque, bank transfer, payment by card) and its use was voluntary (no compulsion – no prohibition). Euro coins and notes were introduced on 1 January 2002, when use of the euro became compulsory and national currencies were progressively withdrawn.
On 1 January 2007 Slovenia adopted the euro, followed by Cyprus and Malta on 1 January 2008, Slovakia on 1 January 2009, Estonia on 1 January 2011, Latvia on 1 January 2014, Lithuania on 1 January 2015 and Croatia on 1 January 2023, bringing the current total number of Member States using the euro to 20.
Fixed conversion rates
(in alphabetical order of currency code)
(EUR 1 =)
- 13.7603 ATS (Austrian schilling)
- 40.3399 BEF (Belgian franc)
- 0.585274 CYP (Cypriot pound)
- 1.95583 DEM (German mark)
- 15.6466 EEK (Estonian kroon)
- 166.386 ESP (Spanish peseta)
- 5.94573 FIM (Finnish mark)
- 6.55957 FRF (French franc)
- 340.750 GRD (Greek drachma)
- 7.53450 HRK (Croatian kuna)
- 0.787564 IEP (Irish pound)
- 1 936.27 ITL (Italian lira)
- 40.3399 LUF (Luxembourgish franc)
- 0.702804 LVL (Latvian lat)
- 3.4528 LTL (Lithuanian litas)
- 0.429300 MTL (Maltese lira)
- 2.20371 NLG (Dutch guilder)
- 200.482 PTE (Portuguese escudo)
- 239.568 SIT (Slovenian tolar)
- 30.1260 SKK (Slovak koruna)
- Currency codes
- Economic and monetary union (EMU)
- euro area
- European currency unit (ECU)
- Stability and growth pact (SGP)