DEFINITION of 'European Currency Unit - ECU'
The European Currency Unit (ECU) was the precursor to the Euro, the shared single currency of the European Union's member countries. While the Euro is the actual currency of the European Union, the ECU was artificial currency developed by the initial EU member states for their internal accounting purposes.
BREAKING DOWN 'European Currency Unit - ECU'
The ECU was first adopted in 1979 by the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union. In 1999, the ECU was replaced by the Euro, at parity.