Countries that use the Euro in 2024

March 20, 2024

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Euro banknotes

If you’ve traveled across Europe before, it’s likely you’ve benefited from the euro. Most countries in the European Union (EU) have adopted the euro, so you don’t have to worry about exchanging currencies when you cross borders between European countries.

However, not every country in the EU or Europe uses the euro. To prevent you from getting caught out, we’ve compiled this guide to help you understand euros and where they’re used.

In this article, we’ll reveal how many countries and territories use the euro, as well as which countries in the EU use their own national currencies. We’ll also look at what the Eurozone is and how the euro has shaped Europe’s economy. Let’s jump straight in!

Countries that use the euro

EU member countries that use the euro

There are currently 20 EU member states that use the euro (€) as their official currency. They form the Eurozone (also called the euro area).

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain

EU countries that have adopted the euro use the European Central Bank (ECB) as their central bank. The bank’s capital stock is owned by the 27 central banks in each of the EU member states.

Non-EU member countries that use the euro

Four non-EU member countries have monetary agreements with the EU that allow them to produce limited quantities of Euro coins. These coins feature each country’s own design on the national side. However, they can’t issue euro banknotes.

  • Andorra
  • Monaco
  • San Marino
  • Vatican City

Kosovo and Montenegro also use the euro as their de facto currency, despite not having a monetary agreement with the EU.

Territories that use the euro

Euros are used in some territories that lie beyond the European continent or aren’t in the EU. These places use the euro because they are territories of EU member countries. For example, although Mayotte and RΓ©union are located in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar, they are overseas departments of France.

The territories listed below have adopted the euro as their official currency:

  • French Southern and Antarctic Lands
  • Saint BarthΓ©lemy
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia
  • Guadeloupe
  • French Guyana
  • Martinique
  • Mayotte
  • RΓ©union
  • Madeira
  • The Azores
  • Canary Islands

Countries in the process of adopting the euro

Six countries are preparing to adopt the euro as their official currency. They are all members of the EU but currently use their own currencies. They are:

  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Sweden

When was the euro introduced?

The euro was introduced in 1999, but it was an ‘invisible currency’ for three years. This doesn’t mean people were pretending to give and receive cash, though. The term actually means that the euro was solely used for accounting purposes and electronic payments from its introduction until 2002. During this period, each EU member country continued using the notes and coins from their old currencies.

Euro coins and banknotes were officially launched on 1 January 2002. 12 EU countries adopted the new coins and banknotes in the biggest cash changeover ever. The national coins and banknotes from these countries ceased to be legal tender, although they can still be exchanged for euros.

Over 314 million people use the euro every day, making it the world’s second-most used currency. Euros are used in 20 out of the 27 EU member countries, which collectively form the Eurozone.

Why do countries use the euro?

One of the major reasons for euro adoption was to reduce war and crises on the European continent. Most people find that they get on better with others if they have things in common. You’re less likely to argue with your neighbor if you both like the same football team, right? The same concept has been used on an infinitely larger scale with the euro. Countries are less likely to have political conflict if they share common institutions.

Using a single currency in multiple countries can also help ensure political and economic stability in the euro area and globally. Travel is easier as there’s no need to exchange money when visiting different Eurozone countries. The euro also reduces currency risk for trade, which is the potential risk of losing money because the exchange rates aren’t favorable.

The euro also helps promote cross-border competition and investments in countries within the Eurozone. There isn’t a currency risk, which encourages trade between different countries. The market for goods and services is more efficient, which can lead to reduced transaction costs and better price transparency.

Why do some EU countries not use the euro?

Despite being a member of the EU since 1973, Denmark has opted out of using the euro. The country held a referendum in 2000 to vote on whether to adopt the euro or not. 53.2% of the country voted no. Denmark uses the Danish krone (DKK) as its official currency.

The United Kingdom didn’t use the euro when it was a member of the EU between 1973 and 2020. One of the reasons was the government wanted to retain control over the country’s own interest rate policy.

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