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How you benefit from the euro

14 November 2018 (updated on 13 December 2019)

You are one of more than 346 million Europeans who share a single currency. The euro is an important part of your daily life; it’s in your wallet and your bank account. But it’s much more than a convenient way of paying. It helps you to fulfil important needs and aspirations. It’s a safe and stable currency that enables you to save and invest with confidence. It makes it easier to live, work and study in another euro area country. The euro brings us together.

The euro has been around for 20 years now and, in that time, it has proven a stable and trusted currency. Together with the central banks of euro area countries, we at the ECB look after the euro so that you can be confident that your money is safe and so that you can benefit from the euro in numerous ways, today and tomorrow.

Stability and prosperity

Like most people you probably want to thrive economically – you want to have a good job that supports you and your family. As a central bank, we contribute to a growing economy that creates jobs by keeping prices stable. Maintaining price stability is our main task. It creates conditions for prosperity and an economically stable future that can be planned for. In everyday life, stable prices mean that you can feel confident about the future value of your money and that companies can invest and grow. You can rest assured that a euro today is a euro tomorrow.

Stronger together

As Europeans, we form a culturally diverse community of people who share similar values. Together we want to preserve peace, democracy and freedom. We also want to be more economically prosperous and to have a stronger voice on the international stage.

By coming together to form the world’s largest trading bloc and creating the single market for Europe we continue to move towards success in achieving these goals. The euro has advanced European integration by enabling people living in the euro area to reap the benefits of the single market.

The euro banknotes and coins in our pockets are a tangible symbol of European unity. The euro gives us a sense of belonging and serves as a daily reminder that we have achieved a great deal.

The euro makes it easy

You can use the euros in your wallet in 20 European countries without having to change money or pay exchange fees. It makes travelling to those countries more convenient and less costly and it simplifies other aspects of our lives, such as studying, working or living abroad. The euro allows consumers in the euro area to compare prices directly and pay across borders. It also helps to reduce businesses’ concerns about exchange rates.

Did you know?

Over the last 20 years, since the euro was introduced, prices in the euro area have been stable.

Since 1 January 1999, inflation has averaged 1.7%. That is below the average inflation rate recorded in the individual countries in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, when they had not yet introduced the euro.

Being together has made us wealthier.

The gross domestic product (GDP) per person living in the EU would likely be as much as one-fifth lower today if no integration had taken place since the Second World War.

The euro area is one of the largest and strongest economies in the world.

In terms of GDP per person, the euro area ranks second among the world’s leading economies.

The euro is one of the world’s most important currencies.

The proportion of international payments made in euros and US dollars is roughly equal and the euro is the world’s second favourite currency for borrowing and lending.

Popular support for the euro is strong.

Recent Eurobarometer survey results show that three out of four people in the euro area support the euro, the highest level since 2004.

We’ve had over 70 consecutive years of peace in the EU.