Euro Implementation table

From its beginnings, half a century ago, in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, through the expansion of the seventies and eighties and the great debate surrounding the Maastricht Treaty, here we highlight some of the key events which have shaped the development of the European Union towards closer integration and the introduction of the single currency.

January 1 1999 The euro becomes the currency for 11 member states
January 1, 1999 - December 31, 2001 Transition period: changeover to the euro by the whole economy
June 19, 2000 Council Decision (2000/427) EC) on the adoption by Greece of the single currency.
January 1, 2001 Greece adopts the single currency (Council Decision of 19 June 2000)
August 30 2001 European Central Bank releases final details of euro banknote
September 1, 2001 Euro banknotes and coins available to banks in Finland, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain. Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Portugal receives coins only. Sub-frontloading to retailers of banknotes and coins begins in Germany, Luxemboug and large retailers in Spain. Irish and Finnish retailers receive euro coins
September 3, 2001 Austrian banks receive banknotes and coins
September 10, 2001 Sub-frontloading of banknotes to Austrian retailers
October 1, 2001 Greek and Portuguese banks receive banknotes. Large Italian retailers receive euro coins
November 1, 2001 Belgium, Ireland and Italy receive banknotes in banks. Sub-frontloading to Greek retailers of coins and Irish retailers receive banknotes only
December 1, 2001 France and the Netherlands (and coins) receive banknotes. Sub-frontloading to retailers of banknotes and coins begins in Belgium, France, Greece (banknotes only), Italy (large retailers only), Netherlands (large retailers only) and Portugal
December 14, 2001 France, Ireland and the Netherlands make euro coins available to the public through starter kits
December 15, 2001 Austria, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain release starter kits
December 17, 2001 Germany, Greece and Portugal release euro starter kits
January 1, 2002 Euro notes and coins will enter circulation in the 12 participating states of the EU. All non-cash transactions will hereafter take place in euros. Dual circulation period begins, in which consumers can still use national currencies but will be given change only in euros
January 15, 2002 It is anticipated that the bulk of cash transactions will now be taking place in euros
January 28, 20021 Dutch national currency ending as legal tender.
February 9, 2002 Irish national currency ending as legal tender.
February 17, 2002 French national currency ending as legal tender.
February 28, 2002 Belgian, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Luxembourg, Austrian, Portuguese and Finnish national currencies ending as legal tender. German commercial banks exchanging national banknotes and coins for euros until at least this date. Commercial banks in Austria, Finland, Greece and Ireland to decide individual deadlines for currency exchanges. Italy has not made a decision on commercial bank currency exchanges
June 30, 2002 Last date commercial banks in France, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain will exchange national currencies for euros
December 31, 2002 Last date commercial banks in Belgium and the Netherlands will exchange national currencies for euros. Last date Portugal's central bank will exchange national coins for euros
2003 and beyond The 12 eurozone central banks have set various deadlines for exchanging old national currencies:
  • Central banks in Germany, Ireland, Spain and Austria, have said they will exchange old notes and coins indefinitely
  • Central banks in Belgium and Luxembourg , say they will exchange old notes indefinitely but have set a deadline of the end of 2004 for coins
  • Italy and Finland have each set a deadline of 10 years for notes and coins
  • Greece and France have each set a deadline of 10 years for notes; Greece will exchange coins for two years, France for three
  • The Netherlands has set deadlines of January 1, 2007 for coins and January 1, 2032 for notes
  • Portugal will exchange notes for 20 years (the deadline for coins is December 31, 2002)