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The Euro is the common currency for the participating member states of the European Union. Policy concerning the currency is determined by the European Central Bank.


Landmarks along the road to a common EU currency include the Treaty of Rome (1957), the Single European Act (1986) and the Treaty on European Union (1992). Within the framework of the EU's Economic Monetary Union, set exchange rates for the participating currencies were implemented in 1999. Beginning in 2002, the Euro coins and bills were introduced and the autochtonous currencies subsequently phased out.

Euro Countries

There are currently 13 Euro countries.

The Euro countries are: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece (since 2001), Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.

Slovenia adopted the Euro in 2007. Another new member state, Lithuania, also applied for the Euro, but in July 2006 its application was rejected by the European Commission according to the criteria set by the Maastricht Treaty. These include limits on inflation, budget deficit, new state debt and overall state debt. Other aspirants, including the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia and Latvia, all continue fail to meet at least one of these criteria.

Although a too expiendient currency union could have negative effects on the stability of the currency, the successful integration of the new member states into the EU could also suffer in the long run if the entrance criteria remain as strict as they were laid out in the negative decision on Lithuania.

Bills and Coins

Of political interest may be that the different denominations (both bills and coins) are of varying sizes and colors making them easy for the consumer to differentiate from one-another. Plus, there are special imprints on them for the blind. The coins are also numerically marked according to their monetary worth, in contrast to American coins.

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