Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Euro Currency in Europe and in the European Union Member States

The Euro Currency in Europe and in the European Union Member States as of May 1, 2004 - Map (reposted from LawPundit)

Status of the Euro and other Currencies in Europe

On May 1, 2004, ten (10) additional countries became New Member States of the European Union (EU).

The map below shows the status of the Euro in Europe as of that date.

The Previous 15 EU Member States

12 of 15 of the previous European Union Member States (prior to the ten additions on May 1, 2004) have already adopted the Euro as their currency (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Finland, Austria, and Greece), with the exceptions being the United Kingdom (which still uses the Pound), Sweden (Swedish Krona) and Denmark (Danish Kroner).

The Euro in Montenegro

Outside of the European Union, the Euro is legal tender in Montenegro - but, as a part of the loose federation of the commonwealth of Serbia and Montenegro (former Yugoslavia), it is legal tender in Montenegro only. Serbia itself uses the New Dinar as its currency.

The 10 New EU Member States

The new European Member States were NOT automatically able adopt the Euro as their official currency on May 1, 2004. Quite the contrary, they must first join the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II). Moreover, within the first two years of EU membership, their currency can fluctuate only 15 percent either side of the benchmark valuation set as a float against the Euro. In addition, these new EU Member States must also meet the Maastricht criteria on budgets, debt, inflation, and long-term interest rates. Only then - at the earliest in two years - will any new Member State be in a position to qualify for adoption of the Euro as its official currency.

The currencies of the ten ascendant European Union Member States are as follows:
Estonia - Kroon, Latvia - Lats, Lithuanian - Litas, Poland - Zloty, Czech Republic - Koruna, Slovakia - Koruna, Hungary - Forint, Slovenia - Tolar, Malta - Lira, and Cyprus - Pound. It will be interesting to see the development of these currencies over the coming years.

The Non-EU European States

The currencies of the remaining European countries which are not European Union Member States are: Norway (Norwegian Kroner), Switzerland (Swiss Francs), Russia (Russian Rubles), Belarus (Belarus Rubles), Ukraine (Hryvna - also spelled Hrivna), Romania (Leu), Moldova (Leu), Bulgaria (Lev), Turkey (Lira), Albania (Lek), Macedonia (Denar), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Marka), Croatia (Kuna), Serbia (New Dinar) and Montenegro (Euro).

For more information on the Euro, see
the European Union website
the European Central Bank Euro website (ECB)
Xenon Laboratories
and the copious links at Lehman Social Sciences Library
with additional superb links to articles dealing with legal aspects of the Euro and the European Union.

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