11 May, 2009


History of the Euro

1957 – The Treaty of Rome was signed, creating the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and the European Economic Community (EEC). The objective of the Member States was to remove trade and tariff barriers between them and to form a common market.

1979 – The governments and central banks of the nine Member States (Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, West Germany) created the European Monetary System (EMS) which had the main goal – to create a common currency.

1988 – The European Council, that is the Heads of State and Governments, confirmed the objective of realising Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). A committee of experts, chaired by the then President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors, examined ways of achieving EMU. Its report (the Delors Report) proposed a transition in three stages.

1992 – Representatives of twelve European Union (EU) Member States signed the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht Treaty) that provided for the establishment of a single EU currency and the founding of the European Central Bank.

December 1995
– The European Council decided to adopt the euro as the name of the future single currency of the EU (the Lithuanian form in unofficial documents is euras). The official graphic symbol of the euro € is derived from the Greek letter epsilon, denoting the first letter of the word Europe. The symbol is crossed with two horizontal lines, symbolizing stability in the euro area. The alphabetic code for the euro is EUR, while the digital code is 978.

From 1 January 1999
– The new currency unit, the euro, replaced national currencies in electronic transfers in 11 countries: Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Finland, Germany, and from the beginning of 2001, Greece.

1 January 2002
– Twelve European Union Member States introduced the euro cash.

1 January 2007 – The euro was introduced in Slovenia. This was the first new EU member to introduce the euro.

1 January 2008 - The euro was introduced in two other states of the European Union - Cyprus and Malta.

The Adoption of the Euro in Lithuania

Setting the date for the adoption of the euro by any Member State of the European Union (EU) is within the competence of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin Council).

Lithuania planned adopting the euro from 1 January 2007 and actively prepared for the changeover to the single EU currency: however, the average annual inflation rate in Lithuania was slightly higher than the reference value established by the Maastricht Treaty. Therefore, in May 2006 the European Commission made a conclusion that the status of Lithuania as an EU Member State with a derogation regarding the temporary use of the national currency should not be changed.

On 19 December 2007 the Lithuanian government approved the Convergence Programme of Lithuania for 2007. The Convergence Programme confirmed that Lithuania will make efforts to join the euro area as soon as possible. According to the available data, the best period for joining the euro area starts in 2010.

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