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Global Economy

Euro turns 20 in circulation: New banknotes are coming

Euro banknotes and coins used in European Union (EU) countries will enter their 20th year as of January 1, 2022.

The euro, which is the official currency of 19 of the 27 EU member states, was decided to enter into dematerialized effect in 1999.

The euro was introduced as banknotes and coins on 1 January 2002. Since then, the euro has been used in daily transactions.

Currently, the euro is used in 19 countries, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Greece. EU member states use it.

The monetary policy of these countries, called the “Eurozone”, is carried out by the Euro System, which consists of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the central banks of the member countries.

The task of the Frankfurt-based ECB is defined as ensuring price stability in the Euro Zone, which consists of EU member states that use the euro as their currency.

The euro, which is the second most used reserve currency in the world after the dollar, is used by approximately 340 million people in Europe.

The euro is also called the “European Currency”, “ecu” and “euro”. There are 7 types of banknotes of the euro: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 with different colors and sizes.

In addition, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents and 1 and 2 euros are used as coins.


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The ECB has decided to stop the printing of 500 euro notes in 2019. Financing of terrorism and the fight against money laundering came to the fore in the decision making.

Although the printing of the mentioned 500 euro banknotes has been stopped, they are still valid. 500 euro banknotes, which cannot be used in daily life and shopping, can be deposited into bank accounts and exchanged at banks.

-Mandatory attendance for non-Denmark members

Except for Denmark, which announced that it would not be included in the common monetary policy at the establishment of the Euro Zone, all union members are obliged to use the euro if they fulfill the necessary criteria.

Recently, Bulgaria and Croatia have applied for the transition to the euro currency. It is expected that these countries will complete their entry into the euro currency at the end of a process that will take several years.


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When the euro was introduced in 1999, 1 euro was at $1.17. Since then, the euro has rapidly depreciated against the dollar. In October 2000, the euro fell to 0.83 dollars.

The euro appreciated against the dollar from 2002 to 2008. In 2008, 1 euro broke the record by going up to 1.60 dollars. Currently, the euro-dollar parity is hovering around 1.13.


The ECB plans to redesign euro notes, which have been in circulation for 20 years, by 2024. The redesign process will begin with the creation of focus groups tasked with gathering opinions from people in the Eurozone on possible themes for future banknotes. The advisory group, which has one expert from each Eurozone country, will then present a shortlist of new themes to the ECB’s Governing Council. The Governing Council will make the final decision before new notes are issued.


The transition to the euro was the second currency transition in a relatively short time, after the introduction of the Deutschmark in 1990 following German reunification.

Germans, who are skeptical of the single currency and emotionally attached to the former currency mark, were among the biggest beneficiaries of the euro.

According to the research titled “winners and losers in the transition to the euro” by the European Policy Center (CEP), one of the important think tanks on European policies, Germany, which has the most productive economy in Europe, has by far 1.9 trillion euros from the transition to the euro in the 1999-2017 period. benefited the most. This equates to approximately 23 thousand euros per person.

While in the first few years after its launch, Greece made huge gains from the euro, it has started to lose since 2011, Still in the same period Greece has benefited by 2 billion euros. In the Netherlands, there was a welfare expansion of 346 billion euros.

Among the countries analyzed by the CEP, there was a loss of welfare of 3.6 trillion euros in France, 4.3 trillion euros in Italy, 224 billion euros in Spain and 69 billion euros in Belgium.

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