As defined by ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG, Euro is the currency of the EU’s economic and monetary union. 1 euro is divided into 100 cents, also called euro cent, with the symbol ¢.
The euro was introduced as an electronic means of payment on 1 January 1999 in Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Germany and Austria. In 2001, Greece entered into the cooperation, followed by Slovenia in 2007, Cyprus and Malta in 2008, Slovakia in 2009, Estonia in 2011, Latvia in 2014 and Lithuania in 2015. All entries take place from 1 January.
The euro zone is now a total of 19 Member States. Also Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City use the euro. So does Montenegro and Kosovo. The European Central Bank has no monetary responsibility for these latter countries, which have introduced euro on their own initiative. The former national currency units were given a fixed exchange rate against the euro.
The plans for a single currency unit were first adopted at the Maastricht 1991 summit, while the name euro was adopted in 1995.
Of the “old” EU countries, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Sweden have not introduced euro as a currency. Denmark and the United Kingdom have formal exemptions from the Treaty obligations. Sweden is formally committed, but has had a referendum that ended with a majority against EMU. According to the Maastricht Treaty, the new member states of Central and Eastern Europe are also obliged to use the euro.
Banknotes and coins
From 1999 to January 1, 2002, the euro was only electronic means of payment. From 2002, the euro was also launched as banknotes and coins. These are the only legal means of payment in the Member States that have joined the single currency unit.
There are seven euro banknotes: 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 euros. The first generation of banknotes was designed by Robert Kalina, an employee of the Austrian National Bank in Vienna. His concept was the theme “Ages and Styles in Europe”.
Windows and gates adorn the front and symbolize extrovert and collaborative spirit. The twelve stars of the European Union represent dynamism and harmony. On the reverse is a bridge from a specific time period, which symbolizes cooperation between the people of Europe and the rest of the world.
From technical details, the value of the note is printed in Arabic numerals, and the name EURO is printed in both Latin and Greek letters. The abbreviation for the European Central Bank is printed in five languages next to the year. The banknotes are also marked with the © symbol as protection and the flag of the European Union.
The second-generation banknotes, launched in 2013, have been further developed with safety signs and increased “life” from 2002. Due to the watermark of the Phoenician Princess Europe, this series is called the “Europe Series”.
German graphic designer Reinhold Gerstetter is honored with the new design. The name euro was also added in Cyrillic and the abbreviation for the European Central Bank was printed in nine languages. The new banknotes will gradually be put into circulation over the next few years according to increasing value, ie the lowest denominations will come first.
There are eight coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents along with 1 and 2 euros. They are intended for standard circulation in all countries regardless of national motive. They are valid throughout the monetary union.
The coins have a common face, adverse, created by the Belgian artist Lyc Luycx (LL) which, in addition to denominations, has one of three motifs: three different maps of Europe, surrounded by the twelve stars of the European Union. The reverse, the reverse of the coin, is designed differently in each country and has national motifs. Those motifs are also surrounded by the twelve stars.
On 7 June 2005, the European Council decided that the common sides of 10, 20 and 50 cents, as well as the 1 and 2 euro coins, should in future represent all Member States. Today, they depict the EU before enlargement from 15 to 25 Member States in 2004.
The 20 cent coin is shaped after the 50-pesetase with small dents in the brim and is called “Spanish rose”. 2-euro is preferably used for commemorative coins. Some countries have also chosen to equip coins and notes with braille, but it is not implemented by all EU countries. Some euro area countries have joined forces to issue coins with a common theme, such as the memory of a writer, composer and the like. These coins have been named “Star Series”.