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Euro

Euro_banknotes_2002

ISO 4217 code: EUR (num. 978)
Central bank: European Central Bank
Official users: Eurozone (18), Outside the EU (9)
Unofficial users: 3 other users
Inflation: 0.8%, January 2014, Method HICP
Pegged by 9 currencies
Subunit: 1/100, cent
Actual usage varies depending on language
Symbol: €
Coins: 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1, €2
Banknotes: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500

Euro (€) is the currency of the economic and monetary union formed within the European Union. It is common to eighteen members of the European Union and form the euro area. Four micro-states (Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican) are also allowed to use the euro and some European countries such as Montenegro and Kosovo, de facto use it, while others have their national currencies linked to the euro.

In use since 1999, for European financial transactions, it is put into circulation on 1 January 2002 in its fiduciary form . He succeeds the ECU, “the European unit of account”, commissioned in 1979.

The euro is the second currency in the world for the amount of transactions, after the U.S. dollar, but since October 2006 the first currency in the world for the amount of banknotes in circulation, with 610 billion euros.

Because of different alphabets names and national divisions of the euro, it does not spell and pronounce in the same way in all countries of the area.

Operation

The euro is managed by the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt and composed by the Eurosystem central banks of the euro area states. As an independent central bank, the ECB is the only body with the power to set monetary policy for the entire euro area. The Eurosystem participates in the printing, minting and distribution of banknotes and coins in all member states. It also ensures the smooth operation of payment systems within the euro area.

The Maastricht Treaty signed in 1992 requires most EU states to adopt the euro once they meet certain monetary and budgetary requirements, so-called convergence. The United Kingdom and Denmark have however got options retrait, while Sweden (which joined the EU in 1995 or after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty) refused to introduce the euro after a negative referendum 2003, and circumvented the obligation to adopt the euro by not complying with one of the convergence criteria. However, all countries that have joined the EU since 1993 have pledged to adopt the euro in due course.

Issuance and control

Management of the euro depends on the control of the European Central Bank, which measures the flow, the money supply, and debt of Member States.

Translated and adapted from Wikipedia under GNU Free Documentation License.

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