Which countries use the Euro as their official currency?

01 Dec 2023 - Category: Blog /
euro countries

Come along with us on a journey through time as we uncover the fascinating history behind the creation of the EUR, the official currency of the Eurozone.

This article will take you from the very beginning to the present day, exploring the evolution of the euro and the countries that have adopted it as their common currency.

We'll also answer some of the most pressing questions about this currency, such as: Which countries use the euro? And What is the current euro exchange rate?

Join us on this adventure as we delve into the past, present, and future of the euro.

The Origin of the Euro

Following the end of World War II, European leaders aimed to establish economic cooperation and integration. 

The European Union (EU) was established in 1993 to promote unity among member states through the creation of a shared currency. 

The Maastricht Treaty served as the foundation for the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and set out the requirements for countries to join and adopt the Euro.

Adoption of the Euro: A Steady Progression

The euro is commonly abbreviated as EUR. The term EUR is derived from the combination of the Latin word Europe and the Greek word eurus, meaning wide or broad. The Euro symbol is often represented as . As a common currency, the euro facilitates seamless transactions and trade among the member countries, fostering economic integration and cooperation.

The launch of the euro, as an accounting currency in 1999 marked a significant milestone in the history of finance. However, it wasn't until January 1, 2002, that euro banknotes and coins entered circulation, phasing out former national currencies. 

This transition was not without challenges, but it ultimately paved the way for a streamlined and interconnected European economy.

Euro banknotes are not just a medium of exchange; they are also a fascinating embodiment of European culture and history. 

The Eurozone's banknotes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros, each representing distinctive architectural styles from various periods in European history. 

The Euro, established as the official currency of the Eurozone, is currently adopted by 20 out of the 27 European Union member states. 

Countries Using the Euro and Their Previous Currencies



Previous Currency

Adoption of the Euro


Austrian Schilling

January 1, 2002


Belgian Franc

January 1, 2002


Cypriot Pound

January 1, 2008


Croatian Kuna

January 1, 2023


Estonian Kroon

January 1, 2011


Finnish Markka

January 1, 2002


French Franc

January 1, 2002


German Mark

January 1, 2002


Greek Drachma

January 1, 2001


Irish Pound

January 1, 2002


Italian Lira

January 1, 2002


Latvian Lats

January 1, 2014


Lithuanian Litas

January 1, 2015


Luxembourgish Franc

January 1, 2002


Maltese Lira

January 1, 2008


Dutch Guilder

January 1, 2002


Portuguese Escudo

January 1, 2002


Slovak Koruna

January 1, 2009


Slovenian Tolar

January 1, 2007


Spanish Peseta

January 1, 2002

Benefits of Adopting the Euro: A Catalyst for Growth

Within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), sending money is facilitated by the adoption of the euro as a common currency. 

This has several advantages for individuals, businesses, and economies within the region:

Benefits of Sending Money Inside the SEPA Region:

  • Elimination of Exchange Rate Fluctuations: One of the primary benefits is the elimination of exchange rate fluctuations within the eurozone. As all countries within SEPA use the euro, individuals and businesses don't need to worry about currency exchange when conducting transactions across borders.
  • Seamless Flow of Goods and Services: The common currency promotes a seamless flow of goods and services across the SEPA region. Businesses can trade more efficiently, benefiting from reduced transaction costs and the ease of conducting cross-border transactions.
  • Simplified Travel for Residents: For residents, the euro simplifies travel within the SEPA region. Whether for business or leisure, individuals can easily make purchases, conduct transactions, and manage expenses without the need for currency conversion.

Exchange Rates with Non-SEPA Regions:

  • While the benefits outlined above apply within the SEPA region, it's important to note that when conducting transactions with non-SEPA regions, exchange rates come into play. In these instances:
  • Currency Conversion Considerations: Transactions involving non-SEPA countries may require currency conversion, and the exchange rates for these transactions are subject to market conditions. It's essential for individuals and businesses to be aware of potential conversion costs.
  • International Transfer Fees: Depending on the financial institutions involved, international transfer fees may apply when sending money from a SEPA country to a non-SEPA country. Individuals should be mindful of these fees when engaging in cross-border transactions.

In summary, while the adoption of the euro brings significant benefits within the SEPA region, individuals and businesses should consider the implications of exchange rates and potential fees when conducting transactions outside this region.

The Euro Today: Exchange Rates and More

For those curious about the monetary value of the euro, understanding the exchange rate is crucial

Nowadays, the euro to pound exchange rate stands at 0.86 GBP and the euro to dollarsstands at 1.14 USD

These figures, influenced by various economic factors, play a pivotal role in international trade, tourism, and financial transactions involving euros and pounds.

Several countries are actively considering joining the European Union and adopting the euro as their official currency, expressing a desire to align themselves with the economic and political framework of the EU. 

Among these aspiring members, countries from the Western Balkans, such as North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, have initiated accession talks. 

These nations view EU membership as a pathway to economic development, political stability, and enhanced regional cooperation. 

Additionally, potential candidates like Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina are engaging in comprehensive reforms to meet the EU's criteria for accession. 

Send Money from Europe with Small World 

Sending money from Europe with Small World is a convenient and efficient process, especially for individuals residing in SEPA countries such as Austria, Germany, Belgium or Spain and more. 

Small World Money Transfers understands that every customer has unique needs, which is why we offer a wide range of services tailored to meet your needs. Whether you're sending money to your loved ones or conducting international business transactions, we are here to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. 

To enjoy the convenience of sending money with Small World,you can register through our registration page or download our user-friendly app. Our platform streamlines the entire process, making international money transfers from Europe a breeze. Experience the ease and reliability of Small World today!

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