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Euro area countries


Euro banknotes and coins were introduced on 1st January 2002 in 12 of the EU 15 Member States. The euro is not the currency of all EU Member States. Two countries, Denmark and the United Kingdom, have ‘opt-out’ clauses in the Treaty exempting them from participation; while Sweden and several of the more recently acceded EU members have yet to meet the conditions for adopting the single currency.

New countries will adopt the euro only once they meet certain financial criteria, namely a high degree of price stability, sound fiscal position, stable exchange rate and converged long-term interest rates. The current euro area members had to fulfill the same criteria.

Since Lithuania joined the euro area on 1 January 2015, the euro zone comprises 19 countries.

Click here for the irrevocable conversion rates between the euro and the currencies of the respective countries described above against the euro.

Exchanging national cash for euro

Former national banknotes and coins can be exchanged for euro, after they cease to be legal tender, by the relative National Central Bank. The ECB does not exchange any banknotes or coins. Some central banks have set a time limit for the exchange of national banknotes and coins. Further details are specified in Guideline ECB/2006/10 of 24 July 2006 on the exchange of banknotes after the irrevocable fixing of exchange rates in connection with the introduction of the euro.

Country

Exchange of banknotes until

Exchange of coins until

Belgium

unlimited

31 December 2004

Germany

unlimited

unlimited

Estonia

unlimited

unlimited

Ireland

unlimited

unlimited

Greece

1 March 2012

1 March 2004

Spain

31 December 2020

31 December 2020

France

17 February 2012

17 February 2005

Italy

6 December 2011

6 December 2011

Cyprus

31 December 2017

31 December 2009

Latvia

unlimited

unlimited

Lithuania

unlimited

unlimited

Luxembourg

unlimited

31 December 2004

Malta

31 January 2018

1 February 2010

The Netherlands (1)

1 January 2032

1 January 2007

Austria

unlimited

unlimited

Portugal

28 February 2022

31 December 2002

Slovenia

unlimited

31 December 2016

Slovakia

unlimited

2 January 2014

Finland

29 February 2012

29 February 2012