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The euro in your pocket

20th anniversary

20 years ago, on 1 January 2002, 12 EU countries introduced euro banknotes and coins. Three years earlier, the first countries had fixed their exchange rates, adopted a shared monetary policy under the European Central Bank, and launched their new common currency on world financial markets.

Today, the euro is the currency of 19 EU countries with more than 340 million people and the second most important currency in the world.

Euro notes and coins are a tangible, everyday reminder of the freedom, convenience and opportunities that the European Union makes possible.

The euro makes it easy to…


Save and invest with confidence

The euro is a stable currency, so you can spend money safely and borrow and invest with confidence.


The euro has eliminated currency exchange, making it easier and cheaper to travel throughout the 19 countries of the euro area.

Do business

The euro makes it easier, cheaper and safer for businesses to buy and sell across the euro area and to trade with the rest of the world. The euro is used for almost 40% of global cross-border payments and for more than half the EU’s exports.

Go shopping

The euro makes it easier and cheaper to compare prices and shop abroad. A common currency supports a more transparent and competitive single market.

Work, study or retire abroad

The euro lowers the costs of travelling and transferring money so that moving to another country to work, study or retire has never been simpler.

Want to know more?

Check out these websites for news, events and more information about the euro!

Facts about the euro

of citizens of euro area countries
Currently close to four out to five (78%) citizens of euro area countries believe that the euro is a good thing for the EU (Eurobarometer – October 2021).
Over 340 million
The euro is shared by over 340 million Europeans in 19 euro area countries. 60 countries and territories outside the euro area, representing 175 million people, have linked their own currencies to the euro either directly or indirectly.
international currency
The euro is the world’s second currency for international payments, borrowing, lending and central bank reserves. Over half of global green bond issuance is denominated in euro.