Currencies of the European Union
There are fourteen currencies of the European Union as of 2011, the principal currency being the euro. The euro is used by the institutions of the European Union and by the eurozone states, which account for 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. All but two states are obliged to adopt the currency; the remaining three have, through legal exemption or de facto permission, retained the right to operate independent currencies within the European Union.
The euro is the result of the European Union's project for economic and monetary union which came fully into being on 1 January 2002. and it is now the currency used by the majority of European Union's member states, with all but three bound to adopt it. It is the currency used by the institutions of the European Union and in the failed European Constitution it was to be included with the symbols of Europe as the formal currency of the European Union. The euro is also widely used by other states outside the EU.
Currency State ¤ ISO Euro peg Notes Euro €
n/a Used by the institutions Bulgarian lev Bulgaria лв
Currency board 2014 target for euro Czech koruna Czech Republic Kč
Floating 2015 earliest Danish krone Denmark kr
ERM Formal opt-out Hungarian forint Hungary Ft
Floating No current target for euro Latvian lats Latvia Ls
ERM 2014 target for euro earliest Lithuanian litas Lithuania Lt
ERM 2014 target for euro earliest Polish złoty Poland zł
Floating No current target for euro Pound sterling
Floating Formal opt-out Romanian leu Romania Leu
Floating 2015 target for euro earliest Swedish krona Sweden kr
Floating De facto opt-out Swiss franc Campione d'Italia (Italy) Fr.
Floating Also unofficially used in Büsingen am Hochrhein, Germany. Swiss Franc is issued by Switzerland.
- Note that there are other currencies used in overseas territories of member states. Those territories however are not part of the European Union proper (legally subject to all its law) so are not listed here.
EU law and treaties application to Northern Cyprus is currently suspended. Its territory is claimed by the Republic of Cyprus, one of the EU member states, but currently Northern Cyprus is under Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) control. TRNC isn't recognised by the Republic of Cyprus (which claims jurisdiction over the whole island) and the European Union.
Presently, the TRNC government has declared the Turkish lira (TL,
TRY) to be its legal tender. TL is not issued by any EU member state, but by Turkey and it has a free floating regime. Nevertheless usage of the Euro in Northern Cyprus is already high in practice.
The United Kingdom was given an opt-out from the euro in the Maastricht Treaty when it became the only state not to reach a compromise regarding currency issues. Denmark gained its opt-out after the Danish electorate rejected the treaty in a 1992 referendum and Denmark was given four opt-outs in order to pass the treaty.
Sweden then held a referendum in 2003 even though it was obliged to adopt the currency and it was rejected by the Swedish electorate. The European Commission stated it would respect this decision for now but not tolerate similar moves from countries that join the EU after the euro is introduced. Hence, the British, Danish and Swedish currencies are not obliged to be retired, however Denmark is considering dropping its opt-out (see future below).
Those European Union states that have adopted it are known as the eurozone and share the European Central Bank (ECB). The ECB and the national central banks of all EU countries, including those who operate an independent currency, are part of the European System of Central Banks. Before a state adopts the euro, its currency has to spend at least two years in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism which pegs it to the euro within a fixed band. Currently four currencies are in ERM, including the Danish Krone which has an opt-out. The Bulgaria lev is also pegged via a currency board.
Currency State Symbol ISO Completely Yielded
Notes Austrian schilling Austria S or öS
1999/2002 13.7603 Belgian franc Belgium fr.
1999/2002 40.3399 Interchangeable with Luxembourgian franc (BELU) Cypriot pound Cyprus £
2008 0.585274 Dutch guilder Netherlands ƒ or fl.
1999/2002 2.20371 Estonian kroon Estonia Kr
2011 15.6466 Finnish markka Finland mk
1999/2002 5.94573 French franc France ₣, F or FF
1999/2002 6.55957 Linked to Monegasque franc, both valid in France, Andorra and Monaco. German mark Germany DM
1999/2002 1.95583 Greek drachma Greece Δρχ., Δρ. or ₯
2001/2002 340.75 Irish pound Ireland £
1999/2002 0.787564 Italian lira Italy ₤, L. or LIT
1999/2002 1,936.27 Linked to Sammarinese & Vatican lira, all valid in Italy, San Marino and the Vatican City. Luxembourgian franc Luxembourg fr. or F
1999/2002 40.3399 Interchangeable with Belgian franc (BLEU). Maltese lira Malta ₤ or Lm
2008 0.4293 Portuguese escudo Portugal or $
1999/2002 200.482 Slovak koruna Slovakia Sk
2009 30.126 Slovenian tolar Slovenia SIT
2007 239.64 Spanish peseta Spain ₧
1999/2002 166.386 European Currency Unit Accounting only ₠, ECU or XEU
1999/2002 1 Accounting currency along side national currencies until the euro introduction.
Except for the three states with opt outs, all current and future members of the EU are obliged to adopt the Euro as their currency, thus replacing their current ones. Denmark, which has an opt out, is expected to hold a referendum on its opt-outs due to increasing pressure to adopt the Euro, the Danish Kroner already pegged to the Euro, and Denmark having fulfilled all the existing requirements.
- ^ Swiss franc is the official currency and euro is widely accepted.
- ^ But capped as of September 2011
- ^ Euro is the officially currency, but the Swiss franc is commonly used
- ^ Protocol 10 to the Treaty of Accession 2003 (OJ L 236, 23.9.2003, p. 955).
- ^ De Facto Classification of Exchange Rate Regimes and Monetary Policy Frameworks, IMF 2008
- ^ Hadjicostis, Menelaos (30 December 2007) In north Cyprus, the Turkish lira is the official currency, but euro is embraced, International Herald Tribune
- ^ Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro BBC
- ^ Cyprus' isolated north will be enthusiastic – if unofficial – euro users
- ^ Replaced alongside French franc with euro
- ^ Replaced alongside Italian lira with euro
Topics on the euro General Administration Fiscal provisions History Economy Denominations€5 · €10 · €20 · €50 · €100 · €200 · €500 Coins by
currenciesEuropean Currency Unit · Austrian schilling · Belgian franc · Cypriot pound · Dutch guilder · Estonian kroon · Finnish markka · French franc · German mark · Greek drachma · Irish pound · Italian lira · Luxembourgish franc · Maltese lira · Monegasque franc · Portuguese escudo · Sammarinese lira · Slovak koruna · Slovenian tolar · Spanish peseta · Vatican lira
currenciesERM IIother (EU)
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