Where the euro is used

The euro is the official currency in 35 states and territories. Seven more will probably join in the next few years. Several others may join eventually. A further 24 peg their own currency to the euro.

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I. The Official Currency
35 States and Territories with a population of more than 316 million people use the euro as the official currency.

Seventeen countries in the EU

Country From Includes Excludes
Austria 1 January 2002  
Belgium 1 January 2002
Cyprus 1 January 2008 The northern Turkish part does not recognise the Euro and uses the New Turkish Lira but the use of the Euro is now expected to spread to the north as well.
Estonia 1 January 2011    
Finland 1 January 2002    
France 1 January 2002 Corsica in the Mediterranean
Germany 1 January 2002
Greece 1 January 2002
Ireland 1 January 2002
Italy 1 January 2002 Sardinia and Sicily in the Mediterranean Campione d'Italia, an Italian enclave near Lake Lugano in Switzerland, uses the Swiss franc, though the euro also circulates.
Luxembourg 1 January 2002    
Malta 1 January 2008    
Netherlands 1 January 2002   Netherlands Antilles - its guilder is linked to the US dollar.
Portugal 1 January 2002 - Nine islands of the Azores
- Three Madeira Islands
all in the Atlantic west of Africa
Slovakia 1 January 2009    
Slovenia 1 January 2007    
Spain 1 January 2002 - The three Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean:- Ibiza, Majorca, and Minorca
- The seven Canary Islands in the Atlantic
Four small European states
Country From Previous currency Location
Andorra 1 January 2002 French franc; Spanish peseta In the eastern Pyrenees between France and Spain
Monaco 1 January 2002 French franc On the Mediterranean coast in south eastern France close to the Italian border.
San Marino 1 January 2002 Italian lire West of Rimini in north eastern Italy
Vatican City 1 January 2002 Italian lire Rome, Italy
Liechtenstein, between Austria and Switzerland, uses the Swiss franc, although the euro also circulates informally.
In Gibraltar, which uses the Gibraltar Pound, the euro circulates and is accepted informally.
Seven French overseas departments and territories
Overseas department   Location Includes
French Guiana   South America
Guadeloupe   Caribbean - Northern half of Saint Martin (Southern half is part of the Netherlands Antilles - which uses a guilder linked to the US dollar)
- St Barthélemy
Martinique   Caribbean
Réunion   Indian ocean, Southern Africa  
Overseas Territory   Location Includes
St Pierre-et-Miquelon   North Atlantic, off Newfoundland
Mayotte   Indian ocean, Southern Africa  
Territoire des Terres australes et antarctiques françaises   Southern Indian Ocean - Islands of St Paul and Amsterdam
- Island groups of Crozet and Kerguelen
- Terre Adélie on Antarctica
Note No-one lives in the Territoire, but visitors use the euro and it issues stamps denominated in euro.
Five Spanish territories in Northern Morocco
Autonomous communities   Location
Ceuta   Western end of north Moroccan coast, east of Tangier
Melilla   Eastern end of north Moroccan coast
Directly administered island groups   Location
Islas Chafarinas   East of Melilla off north Moroccan coast These three islands are uninhabited but are part of Spain and if they used a currency it would be the euro.
Penon de Alhucemas   In the middle of the north Moroccan coast
Penon de velez de la Gomera   In the middle of the north Moroccan coast, west of Penon de Alhucemas
Two Balkan countries
Note In other Balkan countries the German mark was widely used and accepted as an unofficial currency in the informal economy. It has now been unofficially replaced by the euro or, in Bosnia and Croatia, by the US dollar. 
but NOT Cuba
In 2002 it was reported that the euro would be adopted as an official currency in Cuba's most famous beach resort, Varadero, to the east of Havana on the northern coast. The government wanted to attract more European tourists to the island. But since then the Cuban economy has changed. Millions of tourists now visit Cuba and the currency for them is definitely the Convertible Peso, fixed to the US dollar and worth approximately 23 times the Cuban peso that the locals use. The Government takes an 11% commission each time foreign currency is converted into these pesos. Although some hotels and restaurants will accept euro, as they will in many parts of the world, they do not price in it nor use it as a local currency.

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II. Fixed To The Euro
24 states and territories have a national currency which is pegged to the euro

Fourteen West African countries - Members of the Zone Franc
Country currency Fixed rate

The CFA franc, a currency originally pegged to the French franc and now pegged to the euro 




Burkina Faso
Central African Republic
Equatorial Guinea
Ivory Coast
Three French overseas territories 
Country currency Fixed rate
French Polynesia The CFP Franc, a currency which was pegged to the French franc and is now pegged to the euro.  €1=CFPF119.2529826
New Caledonia
Wallis and Futuna Islands
Two African island countries where the currency was pegged to Portuguese or French currency
Country currency Fixed rate
Cape Verde Cape Verde Escudo €1=CVE110.2651
Comoros Comoros Franc €1=CF491.96775
Three former Communist countries where the currency was pegged to the German mark
Country currency  Fixed rate
Bosnia-Herzogovina convertible mark €1=KM1.95583
Bulgaria Lev (BGL) €1=BGL1.95583
Macedonia Denar MKD Pegged since January 1999. The de facto peg to the euro is described as "the cornerstone of its monetary policy". Trades around €1=MKD60
One North African country
Country currency  Exchange rate
Morocco Moroccan Dirham The Dirham is roughly pegged at around €1=MAD10. The euro circulates widely. Morocco is moving towards becoming a Free Trade Area with the EU by 2012.
One European Union countries
Country currency  Exchange rate
Denmark Danish Krone Pegged through the original European Exchange Rate Mechanism. Trades around €1=DKK7.4265

Hungary pegged the forint to the euro in January 2000. But after loosening the tie in May 2001 it abandoned the peg on 26 February 2008.

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III. New European Union members
Ten countries joined the EU on 1 May 2004 and another two on 1 January 2007. Five of the 2004 entrants - Cyprus, Estonia, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia - have now adopted the euro. The others from 2004 and 2007 will all do so eventually. See adoption.  Eight more states may join the EU in the next few years. But three existing members of the EU may not adopt the euro at all.

These seven countries joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 but have not yet joined the euro.
Country Currency Progress on joining euro Notes
Bulgaria Lev Not in ERMII. No firm target date. Joined EU 1 January 2007. Currency pegged to euro at 1.95583 lev.
Czech Republic Koruna (Czech) Not in ERMII. No firm target date.  
Hungary Forint Not in ERMII. No firm target date. In May 2006 Hungary's new Government set a target of 2010 to join the euro. 
Latvia Lats In ERMII. No target date. Currency already pegged to euro at 0.702804 lats.
Lithuania Litas In ERMII. As soon as possible from 2010. EU Finance Ministers thwarted Lithuania's hopes to join the euro on 1 January 2007 as its inflation rate was too high.
Poland New Zloty Not in ERMII. No firm target date. a
Romania Leu Not in ERMII. Has set 2014 as its target date to join euro. Joined EU 1 January 2007. The new currency, the leu, replaced the old lei from 1 July 2005 and the lei was phased out on 31 December 2006.
Three more states hope to join the EU in the next few years, with five behind them in the queue. It seems likely that the pace of enlargement of the EU will slow down. Even if these states do eventually join the EU, adopting the Euro would come much later.
Acceding Country date of Joining EU Notes
Candidate Country Applied to join Notes
Turkey 1987 Accession negotiations may begin in October 2005. Reunification of Cyprus and human rights issues continue to delay matters. May join in 2015 or so.
Croatia 2003 Croatia presented its formal application to join the EU on 21 February 2003. Accession negotiations began on 17 March 2005. Croatia had hoped to join at the same time as Bulgaria and Romania but 2010 is now the earliest likely date.
Republic of Macedonia 2004 Applied to be a candidate in January 2004. It was accepted as a candidate in 2005. It could join 2010-2012.
Potential candidates First steps taken Notes
Albania 2003 May join in 2015.
Bosnia & Herzegovina 2005 May join in 2015.
Serbia 2005 Hopes to join in 2015 with other Balkan states. But talks were broken off by the EU over the failure of Serbia to arrest Ratko Mladic who is wanted for trial on war crimes. 
Montenegro 2006 Montenegro formally applied to join the EU on 15 December 2008. Since its independence from Serbia on 21 May 2006 Montenegro has made its ambition to join the EU clear. May join in 2015.
Kosovo 2007  
Three European Union countries have chosen not to join the euro 
Denmark Danish people voted on 28 September 2000 to stay out of the euro. Turnout was more than 90 per cent and the vote was 53:47 to keep the krone. A new referendum was promised by the Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen after he was re-elected for a third term. He told journalists on 22 November 2007 "The time is approaching. It is the government's view that the people in this parliamentary term should have the opportunity to take a stance on the Danish EU opt-outs. It is the government's view that the opt-outs damage Danish interests." No date has yet been set. An opinion poll taken after the introduction of the euro notes and coins showed 57% in favour of joining. The Danish currency is already pegged to the euro through the Exchange Rate Mechanism.
Sweden The Swedish people voted by a significant majority to stay out of the euro in a referendum held on 14 September 2003. Despite support for the euro by the political and business establishment the result was 56.1% against, 41.8% in favour of Sweden adopting the euro as its currency. Turnout was 81.2% and 1.9% of votes were neither for nor against.
United Kingdom The Coalition Government in the UK has ruled out joining the euro in the current Parliament which is due to end in May 2015. There is little political or public appetite to join especially after the economic difficulties in several euro members including Greece and Ireland.

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IV. Old Currencies
The currencies of the original 12 countries in the eurozone disappeared into museums by the end of February 2002. The Slovenian tolar disappeared on 15 January 2007; the Cypriot pound and the Maltese lire in January 2008; the Slovak Koruna on 16 January 2009. The Estonian kroon will vanish on 15 January 2011.

Country Currency Date first used in modern form
Austria schilling 1924
Belgium franc 1833
Cyprus pound 1960
Estonia kroon 1992 (from 1928 in its old form)
Finland markka 1860
France franc 1795
Germany mark 1948
Greece drachma 1832
Ireland punt 1928
Italy lire 1861
Luxembourg franc 1848
Malta lira 1972
Netherlands guilder 1816
Portugal escudo 1910
Slovakia koruna (Slovak) 1993 (from 1919 as the Czechoslovak Koruna)
Slovenia tolar 1991
Spain peseta 1869

Source: British Museum Department of Coins and Medals; Wikipedia.

Interview with the curator of an exhibition on the disappearing currencies at the British Museum.

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version 3.6 - 1 January 2011


All material on these pages is © Paul Lewis 1997-2011