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# Currencies of the European Union

Map of currencies used within the EU and dates of euro adoption      States which used the euro from 1999 (currency entered circulation 2002)      States which subsequently adopted the euro      Independent currencies

There are thirteen currencies of the European Union as of 2009, the principal currency being the euro. The euro is used by the institutions of the European Union and by the eurozone states, which account for 16 of the 27 member states of the European Union. All but three states are obliged to adopt the currency; the remaining three have, through legal exemption or de facto permission, retained the right to operate independent currencies within the European Union.

## Euro

The euro is the result of the European Union's project for economic and monetary union which came fully into being on 1 January 2002. and it is now the currency used by the majority of European Union's member states, with all but three bound to adopt it. It is the currency used by the institutions of the European Union and in the failed European Constitution it was to be included with the symbols of Europe as the formal currency of the European Union. The euro is also widely used by other states outside the EU.

## Current currencies

CurrencyState¤ISOEuro pegNotes
EuroEURn/aUsed by the institutions
Bulgarian lev BulgariaлвBGNCurrency board2012 target for euro
Czech koruna Czech RepublicCZKFloating2015 target for euro
Danish krone DenmarkkrDKKERMFormal opt-out but referendum planned
Estonian kroon EstoniakrEEKERM2011 target for euro
Hungarian forint HungaryFtHUFFloating2014 target for euro
Latvian lats LatviaLsLVLERM2013 target for euro
Lithuanian litas LithuaniaLtLTLERM2013 target for euro
Polish złoty PolandPLNFloating2013 target for euro
Pound sterling
Gibraltar pound
United Kingdom
Gibraltar
£GBPGIPFloatingFormal opt-out
Romanian leu RomaniaLeuRONFloating2014 target for euro
Swedish krona SwedenkrSEKFloatingDe facto opt-out
Turkish lira CyprusTL / £TRYFloatingUsed in Northern Cyprus[1]

## Opt-outs

The United Kingdom was given an opt-out from the euro in the Maastricht Treaty when it became the only state not to compromise to back a less ambitious currency project. Denmark gained its opt-out after the Danish electorate rejected the treaty in a 1992 referendum and Denmark was given four opt-outs in order to pass the treaty.

Sweden then held a referendum in 2003 even though it was obliged to adopt the currency and it was rejected by the Swedish electorate. The European Commission stated it would respect this decision for now but not tolerate similar moves from countries that join the EU after the euro is introduced. Hence, the British, Danish and Swedish currencies are not obliged to be retired, however Denmark is considering dropping its opt-out (see future below).

## Institutions

Those European Union states that have adopted it are known as the eurozone and share the European Central Bank (ECB). The ECB and the national central banks of all EU countries, including those who operate an independent currency, are part of the European System of Central Banks. Before a state adopts the euro, its currency has to spend at least two years in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism which pegs it to the euro within a fixed band. Currently four currencies are in ERM, including the Danish Krone which has an opt-out. The Bulgaria lev is also pegged via a currency board.

## Historic currencies

CurrencyStateSymbolISOYielded
Austrian schilling AustriaS or öS(ATS)2002
Belgian franc Belgiumfr.(BEF)2002
Dutch guilder Netherlandsƒ or fl.(NLG)2002
Finnish markka Finlandmk(FIM)2002
French franc FranceF or FF(FRF)2002
German mark GermanyDM(DEM)2002
Irish pound Ireland£(IEP)2002
Italian lira Italy(ITL)2002
Luxembourgian franc Luxembourgfr. or F(LUF)2002
Portuguese escudo Portugal$\mathrm{S}\!\!\!\Vert$(PTE)2002
Spanish peseta Spain(ESP)2002
Greek drachma GreeceΔρχ., Δρ. or ₯(GRD)2002
Slovenian tolar Slovenia(SIT)2007
Cypriot pound Cyprus£(CYP)2008
Maltese lira Malta₤ and Lm(MTL)2008
Slovak koruna SlovakiaSk(SKK)2009

## Future

With the future enlargement of the European Union, each new state will bring another currency. All current members (except for the UK, Denmark and Sweden) and all future members are obliged to eventually adopt the euro as their currency, yielding their present currencies. Denmark, which has an opt out, is expected to hold a referendum on its opt-outs once the Lisbon Treaty is in force, at 2010. With the reunification of Cyprus, the Turkish lira will cease to be in use on EU territory.