The euro is the main unit of currency used by most countries in the European Union. As of 2022, a total of 19 full members of the European Union have designated the euro as their primary currency, and seven additional members are in the process of completing the prerequisites so they can do the same. In addition, a handful of non-EU countries and several territories with ties to EU countries (particularly France) have also adopted the euro.
The euro was officially named in 1995, and it was introduced as an accounting currency in 1999. In 2002, physical banknotes and coins issued in euros entered circulation, and a few months later, it replaced the former currencies of many EU member nations.
EU member countries that use the euro*:
*As the title indicates, this table includes only EU member states. For a more complete list including non-EU countries and territories that have also adopted the euro, see the table that follows this text.
EU member countries in the process of adopting the euro:
Non-EU countries that use the euro:
Territories that use the euro**:
|Akrotiri and Dhekelia (UK)||Mayotte|
|Aland Islands (Finland)||Saint Barthelemy|
|French Guiana||Saint Martin|
|French Southern and Antarctic Lands||Saint Pierre and Miquelon|
**All territories are French except where noted.
Euro denominations and international acceptance
The euro has the highest total value of notes and coins in circulation out of all of the world's currencies. It is the second-largest and second-most-traded currency globally, falling behind only the United States dollar. Like the U.S. dollar, each euro is made up of 100 cents—however, euros and euro cents have different monetary values than do U.S. dollars and cents.
The European Central Bank issues the euro, which is available as banknotes and coins. Denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 euro are frequently used. Less frequently used are 200 and 500 euro banknotes. Coins that are commonly used in nations that use the euro are 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 euro, and 2 euro.
All 19 EU members that use the euro belong to the eurozone, an international economic alliance that also includes a few countries, such as Vatican City and Andorra, that are not EU members, but which have nonetheless adopted the euro as their official currency. The eurozone had a collective population of approximately 341 million people as of January 2022. A number of non-eurozone countries have also adopted the euro or made plans to do so.
Countries need not consider the euro their official currency in order to honor it and use it. For example, Zimbabwe accepts the euro along with several additional currencies. Moreover, the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), a banking agreement that simplifies bank transfers that use the euro, has been joined by approximately 50 countries and territories, including all 27 members of the European Union, but also the four nations of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), the United Kingdom.