- (Photo: European Commission)
The name of the single EU currency - formerly named the ECU. 1 Euro = 100 cents. Introduced from 1 January 2002 in 12 of the 15 EU member states. After 30 June 2002 all national coins were melted down and notes burned.
In 2013, 18 of 28 EU member states had abolished their own currencies and introduced euro instead.
The Euro coins have an identical EU-wide design on one side and different national designs on the other. There are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents coins, as well as 1 and 2 Euro coins. The coins have been criticised for causing a nickel allergy.
The Euro bank notes are identical throughout the EU and have no national features. There are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euro notes. Membership of the Euro-area means that national coins and notes are no longer valid.
See also Economic and Monetary Union, Euro Pact and Optimum currency area.