The euro connects us all

On 1 January 1999, 11 countries of the European Union (EU) fixed their exchange rates, adopted a shared monetary policy under the European Central Bank and launched a new common currency: the euro. It was initially an electronic currency used by financial markets and for cashless payments. Three years later, euro banknotes and coins entered into circulation.

Today, the euro is the currency of 19 EU countries and over 340 million Europeans. It is one of the most important currencies in the world.

Euro banknotes and coins are tangible, everyday reminders of the freedom, convenience and opportunities that the EU makes possible.

The euro
brings us together

How much do you really know about the euro?

Take our quiz and test your knowledge of the euro (and the European Central Bank). We have fun questions for newbies and experts. Give it a try and share it on social media!

Take the quiz now!

How you benefit from the euro

As our currency, the euro has become an integral part of everyday life and it makes it easier for us to trade, travel, study, live and work abroad.

At the European Central Bank we look after the euro to provide a stable environment for people living in countries using the euro, including families, workers, employers, entrepreneurs, pensioners, savers and debtors. We contribute to economic growth and welfare by ensuring the stability of the euro.

Read our explainer

How does the euro help Europeans do business?

Small and medium-sized enterprises form the backbone of the euro area economy. Find out how entrepreneurs and small business owners benefit from the single currency.


The euro: opening doors for Europeans

European leaders signed the Maastricht Treaty 25 years ago, a milestone for European integration that paved the way for the euro. Take a look at how our single currency has made it easier for Europeans to travel, study and work abroad.


The journey of the euro

The euro has come a long way since the late 1960s, when an economic and monetary union was initially discussed, to today, when it is one of the most important currencies in the world.

The euro is a tangible symbol of Europe and its values. Our common currency helps to preserve peace and welfare, and to create conditions for prosperity and an economically stable future.

Follow our events
celebrating the #EUROat20

3 December 2018

The #EUROat20: an extraordinary journey

The European Commission is celebrating the euro’s extraordinary journey with an event on 3 December 2018 in Brussels. Join the live webcast.

17-19 June 2019

ECB Forum on Central Banking: 20 years of European EMU

The sixth annual ECB Forum on Central Banking will focus on 20 years of European Economic and Monetary Union and takes place in Sintra, Portugal.

22 August 2019

European Cultural Days

Our 2019 European Cultural Days will be dedicated to Europe's common culture and identity. You will find more information on the events in due course on our European Cultural Days web page.

31 January 2019

Lamfalussy Fellowship

This year's edition of the Fellowship focuses on projects relating to the European Economic and Monetary Union. Are you a researcher or a PhD student? Stay tuned! The call for projects will be open from 1 December 2018 to 31 January 2019.


Find it below


We have collected a series of photos and footage from our archive, covering the last 20 years of the euro. Feel free to reuse them and make sure to attribute them to us.

Archive footage on 20 years of the euro
Photo collection on 20 years of the euro