Euro banknotes and coins were introduced on 1 January 2002 and have become a tangible symbol of European integration. They are used every day in 17 EU countries and help to make commerce and travel easier. Cash payments are now made in the same currency by 332 million people.
The evolution of our money
The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 led to the establishment of the European Union and its single currency, the euro. After years of planning and preparations, euro banknotes and coins were introduced in 12 Member States of the European Union on 1 January 2002. A total of 17 EU countries have adopted the euro so far.
All EU countries, except Denmark and the United Kingdom, which have an opt-out, are expected to join Monetary Union and to introduce the euro as soon as they fulfil the convergence criteria.
The introduction of the Europa series of euro banknotes in 2013 is part of the ongoing development of euro banknotes. The Europa series incorporates advanced security features to ensure the euro remains a trusted means of payment.
Role of the ECB
The European Central Bank, in Frankfurt am Main, is responsible for conducting monetary policy in the euro area and has the exclusive right to authorise the issuance of banknotes within the euro area. It carries out these tasks together with the national central banks of the euro area countries.