It is the word that designates the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union and it is also the official currency of the Eurozone. The Eurozone includes 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union (that is Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain). The currency is also used in a further five European countries and consequently used daily by some 332 million Europeans. Moreover, more than 175 million people worldwide including 150 million people in Africa use currencies pegged to the euro. The euro is the most tangible achievement of the European integration. As a European citizen but also French, I can say that you just have to travel within the EU or make purchases on websites established in another EU country to realize its benefits. The symbol for the euro is a rounded "E" with one or two cross lines - €. Euros are divided into eurocents, each eurocent being one one-hundredth of a euro. 2. How it works
The management of the euro depends on the control of the European Central Bank, which measures the flow, money and debt in the Member States. The European Central Bank (ECB) has its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. It manages the euro, the single European currency, and ensures price stability in the EU. The ECB is also responsible for defining and implementing the economic and monetary policy of the EU.
The basic tasks of the Eurosystem are:
- Define and implement the monetary policy of the euro area.
- Conduct foreign exchange transactions.
- Hold and manage the official foreign reserves of the participating countries.
- Promote the smooth operation of payment systems.
3. The countries currently using it.
Joining the euro is mandatory for new members of the European Union (EU), but each country sets the date and must meet the necessary economic conditions.
The euro area has gradually enlarged:
On 1 January 2001: Greece.
On 1 January 2007: Slovenia.
On 1 January 2008: Cyprus and Malta.
On 1 January 2009: Slovakia.
On 1 January 2011: the Estonia.
The countries currently using the euro are:
Andorra 2) Austria 3) Belgium 4) Cyprus 5) Estonia 6) Finland 7) France 8) Germany 9) Greece 10) Ireland 11) Italy 12) Kosovo 13) Luxembourg 14) Malta 15) Monaco 16) Montenegro 17) Netherlands 18) Portugal