All the countries in the world have a different unit of currency with which they transact business activities and trade. This creates the harmonious exchange of service, goods and property in terms of value and preference. The Euro (€) is the most substantial pointer of integration economically speaking in Europe i.e. The European Union. It is mostly used in the Eurozone and its territories. Having the Euro used as legal tender officially by the member countries of the European Union offers individuals travelling to these countries obvious benefits such as the elimination of the cost of currency conversion.
Introduced on January 1, 1999, the Euro was one of the greatest steps towards economic integration of the European Union. It was introduced as a simulated currency for non-cash payments and for book-keeping. However, these countries had to wait till January 1, 2002, to start using Euro banknotes and coins. At a global level, the Euro gives the EU more authority, prestige and presence. The conversion rate of the Euro keeps on changing from time to time depending on the status of the economy. The Economic and Monetary Union is tasked with harmonizing the economic and monetary policies and the Euro as the common exchange.
European Union countries that use Euro
Do you keep on asking yourself the 'Euro is the currency of which country?' Here is the fact. There are 19 countries out of the 28 European Union countries using the Euro currency as their official legal tender. These countries are generally called the Euro area or Eurozone countries.
1. The Republic of Austria
It is a landlocked country of a population of over 8.8 million. It has its capital in Vienna and uses the Euro as its currency. The official national language is German.
Another country that exclusively uses the Euro is the Kingdom of Belgium. It has a population of more than 11 million. Dutch, French and German are the official languages used in Belgium and the most popular destinations in Belgium include Abbeys-famed for beer brewing, Waterloo and Fondry des chiens.
In addition to that, the Republic of Cyprus which is an island country in the Mediterranean located in Western Asia having its capital city is Nicosia uses the Euro as its currency. This country is renowned for its Akamas Peninsula and the Troodos Mountains.
The Republic of Estonia located in northern Europe with its capital in Tallinn, whose official language is Estonian also uses the Euro as its currency. Its main attractions are the intact medieval City-Tallinn while. other destinations include KUMU art museum, Kadrioru Park and the Rotter Mann Quarter.
Another country making the list is Finland, situated in northern Europe. It is a country with the majority speaking Finnish while a minority speaking Swedish. It has plenty of attractions with the most popular destinations being Kauhava; Finland largest amusement park, Levi-most popular ski resort among others.
France, a popular European country famous for romance, shopping malls and wine also uses the Euro.it has its capital in Paris and its attractions include the Eiffel Tower, Bordeaux-city of wine among others. France is generally a French-speaking nation and has been the most popular tourist destination for a while.
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Germany, a country renowned for precision engineering and high tech machines and products also makes the list of countries that use the Euro as its currency. Its capital is based in Berlin and the official language spoken is German.
Greece, situated in southern Europe. This country is famed for its picturesque expansive coastlines has its capital in Athens. It also uses the Euro as its currency. Its official language is Greek and some popular destinations include Delphi, Santorini, Olympia and Olympus National Park.
In Ireland, a northwestern European country with its capital city being Dublin, they use the Euro. English and Irish are the languages mainly used and its well-known for attractions such as Aran Islands and Connemara.
Italy, a southern European country with a large number of UNESCO world heritage sites in the world, uses the Euro. Italian is the official language used with its capital being in Rome. It is internationally renowned for its finger licking food, its modern trendy apparel industry, high-end sports cars and motorcycles, highly diversified local cultures and parlances, not forgetting its magnificent coastline, its alpine water-bodies and mountainous ranges.
Another country in the Eurozone is Latvia, a Baltic state in Northern Europe, having its capital situated in Riga. Latvia’s most frequented travel spot is the capital Riga, a world heritage site. There are also many other truly magnificent destinations to visit, both urban and rural, such as Liepaja with its exclusive former secret military town of Karosta and a beautiful beach.
Lithuania is another Baltic state in northern Europe which also uses the Euro. Vilnius is its capital city and Lithuanian is widely spoken thus the official language. Lithuania has a variety of National parks.
Does Luxembourg use the Euro? Of course, it does! Luxembourg is a country in the Benelux with its capital in Luxembourg city. It is a member of the European Union, Luxembourg does use the Euro as its official legal tender. Luxembourgish is widely spoken but German and French are its administrative language.
Slovakia, a landlocked country in Central Europe with its capital in Bratislava also uses the Euro. They speak Slovakian and have attractions and destinations in Bardejov-a spa town, the High Tatras among others.
Slovenia, having its capital in Ljubljana and mainly speaking Slovenian, uses the Euro exclusively as its currencies. Most of its famous attractions include the picturesque pint-sized capital Ljubljana.
Spain having Madrid as its capital also uses the Euro with Spanish being the most used language. Spain is internationally recognized for its abundance of historic sites including Granada and Cordoba. Another famous destination is Sevilla which is a historic site.
Malta, a small island country in the Mediterranean Sea has Valletta as its capital also uses the Euro. The most outspoken language on this island country is Maltese.
Countries that use Euro as their currency that are outside the European Union
Countries outside the European Union have also started adopting the Euro currency as a unit of exchange. The countries include Kosovo, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Montenegro and The Vatican City. They adopted the Euro thus making it to the list of countries that use Euro currency.
Purpose of the Euro
The main purpose of the Euro is to provide a common money across Europe, thus removing the need for monetary integration or any other form of control and regulation.
Euro banknotes and coins
Euro banknotes are printed and issued in various member country states but the design is identical across all the Eurozone countries. The Euro banknotes are in seven denominations i.e. €5 which is grey in colour, €10 which is red in colour, €20 which is blue in colour, €50, its colour being orange, €100, a green banknote, €200 which is coloured yellow and €500 which is purple coloured.
The Euro coin has a total of 8 denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, €1 and €2. These coins have a common side and a national side with the national side indicating the state issuing it. The coins are used in all the Eurozone areas.
Managing the Euro
The independent European Central Bank (ECB) is in charge of monetary issues in the European Union. Its main goal is to maintain price stability and to preserve the purchasing power of the single currency (the Euro).
The ECB also sets important interest rates for the European Union member states. It also coordinates derivation of common rules on public finances for growth and employment with individuals with national governments.
Advantages of using the Euro
The benefits of the Euro are diverse and are experienced at different levels from individuals to businesses to countries’ economies.
- The Euro eliminates the cost of converting currencies for individuals and businesses. It also increases transparency in price as prices of goods and services can be somewhat difficult to compare in different currencies.
- The Euro has also increased inward investment to the single market in Europe from the rest of the world. Having this single currency has also eliminated uncertainty over exchange rate as this is one of the problems of trading with other countries and their currencies.
- The Euro offers more choice and stable prices for consumers and citizens in addition to offering greater security and vast opportunities to firms and markets. It has also led to increased economic stability and substantive growth.
Joining the Euro area
The process of a non-European Union member planning to use the Euro is carefully done before one is allowed to use the currency. A country planning to join the union must harmonize many aspects of its society economically, socially and politically with those of EU member states. Much of this orientation is aimed at ensuring that an accession country can operate comfortably within the union’s single market for goods, services, capital and labour. Adopting the use, furthermore, needs extensive legal frameworks and political alignment for a smoother transition.
The Euro is a tangible sign of European identity and has provided the European Union with a stronger presence in the global economy, something only other regional economic blocs envy. This not only makes the countries that use Euro revered but also respected in the financial sphere.
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