also called Wallaroo, one of the largest species of kangaroo (q.v.). monetary unit of the European Union (EU). Introduced in 1999, it was scheduled to replace the currencies of participating countries in 2002. The euro is represented by the symbol . The euro's origins lay in the Treaty on European Union (1991), an agreement among the then 12 member countries of the European Community (now European Union)Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Luxembourgthat included the creation of an economic and monetary union (EMU). The treaty called for a common unit of exchange, the euro, and set strict criteria for participation in the EMU and conversion to the euro. These requirements included annual budget deficits not exceeding 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), public debt under 60 percent of GDP, exchange rate stability, inflation rates within 1.5 percent of the three lowest inflation rates in the EU, and long-term inflation rates within 2 percent. Although several states had public-debt ratios exceeding 60 percentthe rates topped 120 percent in Italy and Belgiumthe European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, recommended entry into the EMU, citing the significant steps each country had taken to reduce its debt ratio. Although there were concerns regarding a single currency, including worries about loss of national sovereignty and national identity, 11 countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain) formally joined the EMU in 1998; Greece failed to meet economic requirements and Britain, Denmark, and Sweden delayed joining. The participating countries became known as the euro area, euroland, or euro zone. Also in 1998 the European Central Bank (ECB) was established to manage the new currency. Based in Frankfurt, Germany, the ECB is an independent and neutral body, headed by an appointed president who is approved by all member countries to serve an eight-year term. The euro was launched on January 1, 1999, replacing the ecu, a precursor of the euro, at a 1:1 value. It received a good market reception and four days after its introduction was 1.1899 against the U.S. dollar. Over the next two years, however, the new currency struggled and by late 2000 had fallen more than 25 percent in value since its debut. While the euro was initially used only by financial markets and certain businesses, its notes and coins were scheduled to be circulated on January 1, 2002, and would replace the currencies of member countries on July 1.
Meaning of EURO in English
Britannica English vocabulary. Английский словарь Британика. 2012