On 11 July 2006, the Council of the European Union approved Slovenia’s application to join the euro area in 2007, making Slovenia the first of the ten countries that joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 to adopt the euro.
On 1 January 2007, the euro became legal tender in Slovenia, replacing the Slovenian tolar (SIT) at the irrevocably fixed exchange rate of €1 = SIT 239.640. Consequently, euro banknotes and coins had to be widely available in Slovenia by this date. To ensure that this demand would be met, banks received 250 million euro coins worth €84 million from 25 September 2006 and 41.5 million euro banknotes worth €772 million from 29 November 2006. Some of this cash was pre-distributed to retailers and other companies. In addition, Banka Slovenije started selling, via commercial banks, euro coin starter kits to professional cash handlers on 1 December and to the public on 15 December 2006. Details of the pre-distribution of euro banknotes and coins were laid down in ECB Guideline ECB/2006/9.
The euro cash changeover progressed smoothly and quickly: by the end of the first day, all publicly accessible automated teller machines and point-of-sale terminals had been converted, and the value of euro banknotes in circulation was higher than that of Slovenian tolar banknotes. Two weeks after the introduction of the euro banknotes and coins, the cash changeover in Slovenia was finalised successfully in accordance with the schedule.
Since 15 January 2007, only euro banknotes and coins can be used for payments in Slovenia. Slovenian tolar banknotes can be exchanged at Banka Slovenije for an indefinite period of time. Banka Slovenije will exchange Slovenian tolar coins until 31 December 2016.