Euro

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DEFINITION of 'Euro'

The official currency of the European Union's (EU) member states. The euro was introduced by the EU in to the financial community in 1999 and physical euro coins and paper notes were introduced in 2002. Euros are printed and managed by the European System of Central Banks (ESCB).

The euro is abbreviated by the symbol "EUR."

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Euro'

The euro is the national currency of the EU member states who have adopted it, including Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Together, these countries create what is called the Eurozone, a region where the euro serves as a common national currency for all of the separate nations.

This has important benefits, such as removing exchange rate risk from businesses and financial institutions operating in an increasingly globalized economy. On the other hand, critics of the euro system argue that it produces negative consequences, such as concentrating the power to set monetary policy in the European Central Bank. This removes the ability of the EU's member nations to implement monetary policies specific to themselves, locking them into the monetary policy established for the entire Eurozone, even though local monetary conditions may differ substantially from the overall Eurozone.

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  1. Why doesn't England use the euro?

    England, as part of the United Kingdom, is the most notable member of the European Union that has elected not to use the ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How is the forex spot rate calculated?

    The forex spot rate is determined by supply and demand. Banks all over the world are buying and selling different currencies ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. When and why did the euro make its debut as a currency?

    On January 1, 1999, the European Union introduced its new currency, the euro. Originally, the euro was an overarching currency ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are eurodollars related to the currency called the euro?

    Eurodollars have little to do with the official currency of the European Union, the euro (EUR). In 1999, the euro was implemented ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why isn't the EUR/USD currency pair quoted as USD/EUR?

    In a currency pair, the first currency in the pair is called the base currency and the second is called the quote currency. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between a forward rate and a spot rate?

    The forward rate and spot rate are different prices, or quotes, for different contracts. The forward rate is the settlement ... Read Full Answer >>
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