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7.3. Currencies

7.3.1. The euro and the cent

Other sources of information on the euro

The euro


According to the European Council conclusions reached in Madrid in December 1995, the single currency is the euro (subunit: cent; symbol: ; ISO code: EUR).

The euro area

The term ‘euro area’ is the official term for the group of countries that have adopted the euro as their single currency. All other terms, such as ‘euroland’ and ‘euro zone’, should be avoided.

Euro and ecu

On 1 January 1999, the euro replaced the ecu at a rate of one to one (Council Regulation (EC) No 1103/97 (OJ L 162, 19.6.1997, p. 1); see also Council Regulation (EC) No 974/98 (OJ L 139, 11.5.1998, p. 1)). Historical references to the ecu (prior to 1999) must remain in ecu.

The cent


In principle, the term ‘cent’ is used in all official EU languages. However, ‘cent’ does not prevent the common use of variants of this term in the Member States (in accordance with recital 2 of Council Regulation (EC) No 974/98 of 3 May 1998).

The preferred form in the texts of the EU institutions and bodies is ‘cent’ (obligatory in all legal texts).

See also Section 7.3.3 ‘Rules for expressing monetary units’:
Last updated: 29.8.2019
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