The evolution of our money
The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 led to the establishment of the European Union and its single currency, the euro. After years of planning and preparations, euro banknotes and coins were introduced in 12 Member States of the European Union on 1 January 2002. A total of 19 EU countries have adopted the euro so far.
All EU countries, except Denmark and the United Kingdom, which have an opt-out, are expected to join the monetary union and to introduce the euro as soon as they fulfil the convergence criteria.
The introduction of the Europa series of euro banknotes is part of the ongoing development of euro banknotes. The Europa series incorporates advanced security features to ensure the euro remains a trusted means of payment.
- 1 January 2002: Euro banknotes and coins are introduced in 12 EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
- 1 January 2007: Slovenia adopts the euro.
- 1 January 2008: Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro.
- 1 January 2009: Slovakia adopts the euro.
- 1 January 2011: Estonia adopts the euro.
- 8 November 2012: The ECB announces the introduction of a second series of euro banknotes, named the Europa series, starting with the €5 banknote, and unveils images of three new security features.
- 10 January 2013: The €5 banknote of the Europa series is unveiled.
- 2 May 2013: The new €5 banknote is introduced.
- 1 January 2014: Latvia adopts the euro.
- 13 January 2014: The €10 banknote of the Europa series is unveiled.
- 23 September 2014: The new €10 banknote is introduced in the euro area.
- 1 January 2015: Lithuania adopts the euro.
- 24 February 2015: The €20 banknote of the Europa series is unveiled.
- 25 November 2015: The new €20 banknote is introduced in the euro area.
- 5 July 2016: The €50 banknote of the Europa series is unveiled.
- 4 April 2017: The new €50 banknote is introduced in the euro area.
Role of the ECB
The European Central Bank, in Frankfurt am Main, is responsible for conducting monetary policy in the euro area and has the exclusive right to authorise the issuance of banknotes within the euro area. It carries out these tasks together with the national central banks of the euro area countries.