Celebrating 20 years of the Euro

European Commission
3 min readMar 22, 2019

Somewhat quirky, somewhat fun, and oh-so-90s!

These posters were used to explain the Euro and the benefits the common currency will bring to people.

Today, a whole generation of Europeans has grown up knowing only a single currency, the Euro.

But how was the currency first introduced to people? ⬇️⬇️

First step: Only electronic payments

Euro in 1999 was initially launched only as an accounting currency and was used for electronic payments. Exchange rates were irrevocably fixed between the 11 participating EU countries. It actually took the countries ten years to prepare for the launch of the Euro.

What happened in 2002? ⬇️⬇️

The Euro in our hands

After three years of working with the euro as an ‘accounting currency’ alongside national currencies, the 12 countries swap their old notes and coins for euros. This was the largest currency changeover in history.

So much changed & for better ⬇️⬇️

Euro changes Europe forever!

You could travel without changing the currency. It opened up so many possibilities and opportunities.

Euro & the Single Market ⬇️⬇️

The Euro strengthened the Single Market

This is something we take for granted today. But the Euro is a tangible reminder of the freedoms, opportunities and choices offered by the Single Market.

With the Euro, it is easier to compare prices. ⬇️⬇️

Comparing prices

Euro made it easy to compare prices for the same products across different countries.
More opportunities and flexibility for Europeans.

Want to shop? ⬇️⬇️

Shopping made easy!

Each day 340 million Europeans use the Euro to shop within their countries and across borders.

More choices, more options.

Euro & online shopping? ⬇️⬇️

Even online shopping is so much easier!

Though the Euro was set up before online shopping was a thing, but it makes everything so much convenient today.

What about trade beyond the EU? ⬇️⬇️

Trading with the world

The Euro makes it easy to do business with the world.
It is used for almost 40% of global cross-border payments and for almost half the EU’s exports.

Europe in your pocket? ⬇️⬇️

January 1, 2019 marked 20 years of the Euro.

It has come a long way from the early discussions on an Economic and Monetary Union in the late 1960s to being the second most important currency in the world today, and into a tangible symbol for “Europe 🇪🇺 in our pockets”.

Follow the stork ⬇️⬇️

© European Communities, 1999

Click for more on #EUROat20!

Pictures ©European Commission
© Albert Rocarols, 1998



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