The euro is the official currency of the European Economic and Monetary Union and, next to the US dollar, the second most important reserve currency in the world.
The euro is currently the official currency in 19 EU member states. Together they form the so-called Eurozone.
In addition, there are 9 other European countries that are already EU members but still have their original national currency. This sometimes still includes Great Britain, with the British pound as the official currency.
Since the UK will most likely leave the EU by 2019, there are only 8 countries left where the euro could be introduced in the future. Denmark is one of these countries. The country has been a member of ERM II (Exchange Rate Mechanism II) since 1999. However, due to an exception in the Maastricht Treaty, Denmark was released from the obligation to introduce the euro. So the national currency of Denmark has remained the Danish krone, which was introduced on January 1st, 1875. Two other countries that currently have no great ambitions to introduce the euro are Sweden and Hungary. Although Sweden has been a member of the EU since 1995, but the country has remained with its independent national currency, the Swedish krona, which has existed since 1924.
Even Hungary is since 2004 member of the EU and, with the forint was reintroduced, which after the end of World War II in 1946, through an independent and official currency.
The remaining 5 EU countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Czech Republic and Poland) are very interested in joining the euro zone.
Bulgaria has been a member of the EU since 2007 and still uses the Bulgarian lev, which was introduced in 1881, as the official national currency.
However, Bulgaria’s accession to the euro zone is planned and should take place by 2020. Just like Bulgaria, the neighboring country Romania is planning to join the euro zone.
By joining by 2019, the current official national currency, the Romanian leu, is to be replaced by the euro.
But Poland and the Czech Republic are also interested in introducing the euro as the official national currency from 2020 or later.
At the moment the zloty is still the official currency in Poland and the Czech koruna in the Czech Republic (officially: Czech Republic). The Czech crown is also one of the youngest national currencies and was only officially introduced in February 1993.
Even Croatia, which since 2013 youngest member of the European Union, is planning its current national currency, the Kuna to replace and in the future by the Euro thereby become a member of the euro zone.
In addition to the euro, there are also the following currencies in the EU:
- British Pound (GBP)
- Danish Krone (DKK)
- Bulgarian Lev (BGN)
- Croatian Kuna (HRK)
- Polish zloty (PLN)
- Romanian Leu (RON)
- Swedish Krona (SEK)
- Czech crown (CZK)
- Hungarian Forint (HUF)