Which countries are using the Euro? + 8 Interesting facts about the Euro!
20th January, 2023
If you are wondering which countries are using the Euro then you have come to the right place! In this article I will introduce you to the Euro currency, why it is good and why it might not be so good and I will tell you which countries are using the Euro and which countries hope to join the Euro soon. Ready to learn more? Read on…
- What is the Euro?
- The history of the Euro
- What are the benefits of using the Euro?
- Why do some countries choose not to use the Euro?
- Interesting facts about the Euro
- The Euro symbol has Greek heritage
- Euro banknotes are made from sustainable materials
- The Euro was one of the first digital currencies
- The introduction of the Euro caused the biggest cash changeover in history
- The Euro isn’t only used in Europe
- The designs on the Euro notes are fake
- The Euro is one of the least forged currencies in the world
- Every Euro note can be traced
- Which countries are using the Euro?
- Which countries are using the Euro outside of the European Union?
- Which countries are not using the Euro but have a fixed exchange rate to the Euro?
- Which countries are using the Euro? Further reading
What is the Euro?
Introduced in 1999, the Euro is now the major currency used in the European Union. So which countries are using the Euro? Well, this currency is used by 19 EU member states and some other European Union territories. It is the official currency of the European Union and the group of countries that use the Euro are referred to as the Eurozone.
When considering which countries are using the Euro it is important to note that the Euro is a big and powerful currency- it is the second-largest and second most traded currency in the world, behind the United States Dollar. The Euro is issued by the European Central Bank. There are approximately 343 million people who live within the Eurozone, and therefore who use the currency on a day-to-day basis.
The maths behind the Euro is simple- one Euro is made up of 100 Cents. Denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Euros are frequently used and there are bank notes as large as 200 and 500, although these are not used very often. Coins that are commonly used include 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 euro, and 2 euro.
The history of the Euro
Which countries are using the Euro? Well in order to fully understand which countries are using the Euro and why we first need a little bit of background on how the Euro came to be.
Back in the 1960s the European Union had ambitions to develop an economic and monetary union (EMU). An EMU involves coordinating economic and financial policies, a common monetary policy, and a common currency- the Euro.
However this ambition was initially met with a number of political and economic obstacles. There was weak political commitment, divisions over economic priorities, and instability in the international markets. All of these factors meant that initial progress towards the implementation of the Euro was slow. It took until 1979 for the European Monetary System (EMS)to finally be launched.
After this time there were still a number of agreements that had to be finalised and put into place, including The Delors Report which proposed a three-stage preparatory period for economic and monetary union and the euro area, and the new Treaty on European Union which was agreed at the European Council in 1991.
Finally then, after more than a decade of preparations, the Euro was launched on 1 January 1999. To begin the currency was used only for accounting purposes and electronic payments and the first Coins and banknotes were finally launched on 1 January 2002. There were 12 EU countries involved in the biggest cash changeover in history to ever take place.
What are the benefits of using the Euro?
When asking which countries are using the Euro we need to understand why countries would choose to change their existing currency in exchange for the Euro. There are many advantages to the Euro. A single currency makes it easier for companies and individuals to conduct cross-border trade, it helps to stabalise the economy and it makes travelling between countries easier when it comes to money exchanges.
The use of a single currency is also beneficial to the global economy. A single currency makes the Euro zone a more attractive region for non-EU countries to do business with, which therefore helps to promote trade and investment.
Why do some countries choose not to use the Euro?
However, not all countries think that the Euro is a good thing, hence why you are probably asking the question which countries are using the Euro?.
Some countries, despite being in the European Union, choose not to adopt the Euro as their currency. The main reasons for this are because they want to maintain control of their monetary policies and they do not wish to deal with issues specific to each country.
The reality is that each country is different and a blanket currency with its associated policies may not be the best option for all. After all, what is good for one country might not be so good for another as nations have different financial needs and challenges to address. As a result, most EU countries that have not joined the Euro have done so in order to maintain economic independence.
Interesting facts about the Euro
I know that you are reading this article to find out which countries are using the Euro, but first you will surely want to hear these interesting facts….!
The Euro symbol has Greek heritage
The Euro symbol (€) was inspired by the Greek epsilon (ϵ). This is the first letter of the word Europe and was crossed by two parallel lines to demonstrate the stability of the Euro.
Euro banknotes are made from sustainable materials
Yes, you heard that right- the Euro bank notes are made from cotton! Well, they are actually cotton fibres which are known as cotton noils. These are wastes from the textile industry (great new for sustainability!). In fact, in 2019, over 50% of the 5,210 tons of cotton fibres used to make Euro banknotes were certified as originating from sustainable sources and the target is for this to reach 100% in the near future.
The Euro was one of the first digital currencies
Did you think digital currency was a thing of the future? Well it seems it is a thing of the past too! When the Euro was first launched it was completely online and it took three years for the first bank notes and coins to be distributed. So in answer to the question ‘which countries are using the Euro?’ the answer at first was… none (physically at least)!
The introduction of the Euro caused the biggest cash changeover in history
As I am sure you can appreciate, changing currencies across multiple countries all at the same time is no easy feat! Introducing the Euro brought 15 billion notes and 52 billion coins into circulation in a matter of weeks. Extremely strict security was needed and people had to learn about their new currency and its security features, such as holograms and watermarks.
The Euro isn’t only used in Europe
This is one of the most surprising facts to learn when asking which countries are using the Euro- In addition to being the currency of 19 EU countries, the Euro is also the official currency of Kosovo, Montenegro, and the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia- more about this further down in this article.
The designs on the Euro notes are fake
The current banknote series, called the Europa series, features windows and doors on one side, symbolising the European value of openness, and bridges on the other, which symbolises communication. Each Euro note has an important European architectural style, but none of the windows, doors, or bridges are actually real! That was until Dutch designer, Robin Stam, replicated these fictional bridges in the Dutch town of Spijkenisse.
The Euro is one of the least forged currencies in the world
Forged currencies is a big problem in many parts of the world, but not so much in the Eurozone! The amount of counterfeit Euro notes in circulation is small and at a record low. In 2020, only 17 in every 1 million notes was identified as a forgery- this is one of the best ratios of any major currency in the world! Why is it so hard to forge a Euro note? It has a range of security features from holograms and watermarks to microprinting and features that are only visible under an ultra violet light.
Every Euro note can be traced
Want to hide where your money has come from? Not so easy with the Euro! The Europa series of ban notes have special serial numbers on them to make them identifiable.
Which countries are using the Euro?
So which countries are using the Euro and which countries are not using the Euro? I have outlined this information for you in the table below-
|Name of country||When did they start using the Euro?||What was their previous currency?||How many people live there?|
|Andorra(though not part of the EU)||1st April 2012||both French Franc and Spanish Peseta||77,265|
|Austria||1st January 1999||Schilling||9,006,398|
|Belgium||1st January 2002||Belgian Franc||11,589,623|
|Cyprus||1st January 2008||Cyprus Pound||1,207,359|
|Estonia||1st January 2011||Kroon||1,326,535|
|Finland||1st January 2002||Markka||5,540,720|
|France||1st January 2002||French Franc||67.39 million|
|Germany||1st January 2002||Deutsche Mark||83,783,942|
|Greece||1st Janaury 2002||Drachma||10,423,054|
|Ireland||1st Janaury 2002||Irish Pound||4,937,786|
|Italy||1st January 2002||Lira||60,461,826|
|Latvia||1st Janaury 2014||Latvian Lats||1,886,198|
|Malta||1st Janaury 2008||Maltese Lira||441,543|
|Monaco||1st January 1999||Monegasque Franc||39,242|
|Netherlands||1st January 1999||Guilder||17,134,972|
|Portugal||1st January 2002||Escudo||10,196,709|
|San Marino||1st September 2012||Lira||33,931|
|Slovenia||1st January 2007||Slovenian Tolar||2,078,938|
|Slovakia||1st January 2009||Slovak Koruna||5,459,642|
|Spain||1st January 2002||Peseta||46,754,778|
|Vatican City||2002||Vatican Lira||825|
|Akrotiri and Dhekelia||2008||Cypriot Pound||18,195|
|French Southern and Antarctic Lands||2002||French Franc||200-400 permanent scientists and military personnel.|
|Saint Bathelemy||2002||French Franc||9,877|
|Saint Martin||2002||French Franc||38,666|
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon||2002||Saint Pierre and Miquelon Franc||5,794|
|Czech Republic||TBC||Czech Koruna||10,745,656|
Which countries are using the Euro outside of the European Union?
One fact that I think is really interesting is that not all countries that are using the Euro are member of the European Union or located in Europe!
Additional countries that unofficially or partially use the Euro, include-
In addition to this, some countries are part of the Single Euro Payments Area. In this area, bank transfers of the euro are simplified. These nations are:
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom.
Which countries are not using the Euro but have a fixed exchange rate to the Euro?
A fixed exchange rate, sometimes referred to as a pegged exchange rate, is an exchange rate regime whereby a currency’s value is fixed or pegged by a monetary authority against the value of another currency. If you are asking which countries countries are using the Euro then this is something to also consider as although these countries might not use the Euro specifically, their currency is tied to the value of the Euro.
Currencies which are not using the Euro but have a fixed exchange rate to the Euro include:
|Convertible Mark||1 EUR = 1.9558 BAM|
|Bulgarian Lev||1 EUR = 1.9558 BGN|
|Cape Verdean Escudo||1 EUR = 110.2650 CVE|
|Danish Krone||1 EUR = 7.4604 DKK|
|Comorian Franc||1 EUR = 491.9678 KMF|
|Central African Franc||1 EUR = 655.9570 XAF|
|West African Franc||1 EUR = 655.9570 XOF|
|Pacific Franc||1 EUR = 119.3317 XPF|
Which countries are using the Euro? Further reading
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