This year marks the 20th anniversary of the introduction of Euro banknotes and coins. On January 1, 2002, Europeans in 12 countries woke up to a world in which they had to use a new currency. The cash changeover was the biggest currency change in history.
More than 20 years later the Euro has become one of the strongest currencies in the world. It is used by 19 of the 27 EU member countries and more than 340 million Europeans.
“The euro has made the lives of Europeans simpler and produced tangible economic benefits,” ECB President Christine Lagarde. “It has allowed trade to flourish, supported the free movement of people, goods and services and allowed citizens to work, study and travel in 19 member states without having to exchange currency. It has united us across borders, languages and cultures. Sharing a currency is more than simply using the same means of payment; it is being part of a common endeavor.”
However, euro-related innovation has not stopped there. Lagarde offered some insight into the Digital Euro that they are working on, as well as a more secure and relatable redesign of the Euro banknotes.