Want to know more about the euro?
The euro is the single currency shared by (currently) 17 of the European Union's Member States, which together make up the euro area. The introduction of the euro in 1999 was a major step in European integration. It has also been one of its major successes: around 330 million EU citizens now use it as their currency and enjoy its benefits, which will spread even more widely as other EU countries adopt the euro.
When the euro was launched on 1 January 1999, it became the new official currency of 11 Member States, replacing the old national currencies – such as the Deutschmark and the French franc – in two stages. First introduced as a virtual currency for cash-less payments and accounting purposes, while the old currencies continued to be used for cash payments and considered as 'sub-units' of the euro, it then appeared in physical form, as banknotes and coins, on 1 January 2002. The euro is not the currency of all EU Member States. Two countries (Denmark and the United Kingdom) agreed an ‘opt-out’ clause in the Treaty exempting them from participation, while the remainder (many of the newest EU members plus Sweden) have yet to meet the conditions for adopting the single currency. Once they do so, they will replace their national currency with the euro.
For more information go to: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/index_en.htm4