ECB logo


Milestones in the history of the euro area include the introduction of the new common currency and its progressive adoption by 19 countries, and the establishment of an EU institution governing the euro, the European Central Bank.

Creating Economic and Monetary Union

The first step towards creating the ECB was the decision, taken in 1988, to build an Economic and Monetary Union: free capital movements within Europe, a common monetary authority and a single monetary policy across the euro area countries.

Economic and Monetary Union

Who joined the euro area when?

Explore this interactive map to find out which countries are part of the euro area and when they joined.

Euro area map
Convergence criteria

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