Currencies of the European Union
There are eleven currencies of the European Union as of 2018 used officially by member states. The euro accounts for the majority of the member states with the remainder operating independent monetary policies. Those European Union states that have adopted it are known as the eurozone and share the European Central Bank (ECB). The ECB and the national central banks of all EU countries, including those who operate an independent currency, are part of the European System of Central Banks.
The euro is the result of the European Union's project for economic and monetary union which came fully into being on 1 January 2002 and it is now the currency used by the majority of European Union's member states, with all but two bound to adopt it. It is the currency used by the institutions of the European Union and in the failed European Constitution it was to be included with the symbols of Europe as the formal currency of the European Union. The euro is also widely used by other states outside the EU.
Except for the two states with opt outs, all current and future members of the EU are obliged to adopt the Euro as their currency, thus replacing their current ones. The relationship between euro and non-euro states has been on debate both during the UK's membership (as a large opt-out state) and in light of withdrawal from the EU and how that impacts the balance of power between those in and out of the euro; namely avoiding a eurozone caucus out-voting non-euro states. The UK had called for the EU treaties to recognise the EU as a "multicurrency union", which sparked concerns about undermining euro adoption in remaining countries.
The following are official and unofficial currencies used within the borders of the European Union;
|British pound sterling
Pegged to pound sterling
||Floating||Also used by EU institutions|
||Floating||Swiss franc is issued by Switzerland.|
||Floating||Turkish lira is issued by Turkey|
- Note that there are other currencies used in overseas territories of member states. Those territories however are not part of the European Union proper (legally subject to all its law) so are not listed here.
|Austrian schilling||S or öS||
||1999/2002||40.3399||Interchangeable with Luxembourgian franc (BLEU)|
|Dutch guilder||ƒ or fl.||
|French franc||₣, F or FF||
||1999/2002||6.55957||Linked to Monegasque franc, both valid in France, Andorra and Monaco.|
|Greek drachma||Δρχ., Δρ. or ₯||
|Italian lira||₤, L. or LIT||
||1999/2002||1,936.27||Linked to Sammarinese & Vatican lira, all valid in Italy, San Marino and the Vatican City.|
|Luxembourgian franc||fr. or F||
||1999/2002||40.3399||Interchangeable with Belgian franc (BLEU).|
|Maltese lira||₤ or Lm||
|Portuguese escudo||or $||
|European Currency Unit||Accounting only||₠, ECU or XEU||
||1999/2002||1||Accounting currency alongside national currencies until the euro introduction.|
- The Eurozone seeks a post-Brexit balance, European Data Journalism Network 15 December 2017
- The euro, European Commission
- UK call for ‘multicurrency’ EU triggers ECB alarm, Financial Times 4 December 2015
- The Great British Euro Conundrum, Handelsblatt 20 June 2016
- What a fair relationship between ‘euro ins’ and ‘euro outs’ could look like, London School of Economics 26 January 2016
- Swiss franc is the official currency and euro is widely accepted.
- The euro is the official currency but the Swiss franc is more widely used due to it being a Swiss enclave.
- EU law is suspended in Northern Cyprus, and the Turkish Cypriot government who use the Turkish lira are not recognised as the legitimate government of the region. Nevertheless, the euro does circulate widely.
- Replaced alongside French franc with euro
- Replaced alongside Italian lira with euro