In his book entitled The Symbols of the European Union, Carlo Curti Gialdino, Professor of International Law at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ and Legal Secretary at the Court of Justice of the European Communities from 1982 to 2000, explains the origin of the name ‘euro’.
In 1970, in his role as Chairman of the working party instructed to draw up a study on economic and monetary union, Pierre Werner, Luxembourg Prime Minister and Finance Minister, submits a stage-by-stage plan which has as its final objective the establishment of complete union and which calls for the introduction of a single Community currency. At institutional level, the ‘Werner Report’ proposes the establishment of a decision-making centre for economic policy and a Community system of central banks.
In June 1988, the Hanover European Council entrusts to a Committee chaired by Jacques Delors, President of the Commission of the European Communities, ‘the task of studying and proposing concrete stages leading towards the progressive realisation of economic and monetary union (EMU).' The ‘Delors Report', published in April 1989, proposes that EMU be achieved in three stages. During stage two, a European System of Central Banks (ESCB) will be set up in order to make preparations for the transition to the single Community currency during the third stage.
On 16 December 1995, the Madrid European Council adopts a road map for the introduction of the single currency, the basis of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), the third stage of which begins on 1 January 1999. The future currency is to be called the ‘euro’, a simple name which symbolises Europe and which will be the same in all the official languages of the European Union.
On 16 December 1995, following the Madrid European Council, Pedro Solbes Mira, Spanish Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs, Yves-Thibault de Silguy, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Monetary Matters, Credit and Investments and the Statistical Office, and Jacques Santer, President of the European Commission, announce in successive addresses the adoption by the Fifteen of the name ‘euro’ for the new European currency.
On 13 December 1996, on the margins of the Dublin European Council, Alexandre Lamfalussy, Belgian President of the European Monetary Institute (EMI), presents to the press the design of the future euro banknotes.
This poster, published for the Europe Day celebrations in 1998, shows the importance of the euro for European citizens. The poster was also used in the Member States of the European Union which have not adopted the single currency.
This TV advertisement, broadcast in 2001 on Luxembourg television, aims to familiarise the public with the new single currency. The euro, as a strong currency, should also make life easier for EU consumers.
On 31 December 2001, in Vienna, Franz Fischler, Member of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, and Wolfgang Schüssel, Austrian Federal Chancellor, celebrate the entry into circulation, the following day, of the euro in 12 of the 15 Member States of the European Union.
The official euro sign (€) is based in the Greek letter epsilon (e), to symbolise the cradle of European civilisation, and is similar to the first letter of the word ‘Europe'. The two parallel lines represent the stability of the euro.
On 1 January 2002, the euro enters into circulation in 12 of the 15 Member States of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
This brochure, published by the European Central Bank in 2002, aims to familiarise European citizens with the euro coins and banknotes. There are reproductions of the national sides of the coins of the 12 countries of the European Union belonging to the euro zone, along with those of the three countries outside the Union — Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City — which secured the agreement of the European Community to mint their own coins.
In 2002, the Charlemagne Prize of the City of Aachen is awarded to the euro. In his address, the President of the Italian Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, sees the single European currency and the European Central Bank as a step taken by a group of forward-looking states towards the pooling of national sovereignties.
This poster, used for Europe Day in 2002, celebrates the entry into circulation of the euro coins and banknotes on 1 January of that year. The poster was also used in the Member States of the European Union which have not adopted the single currency.
"Euro-paix!" Lors de la crise du Kosovo provoquée par le président yougoslave Slobodan Milosevic, le caricaturiste espagnol Amenofis réclame la paix en Europe, symboliquement représentée par un billet en euros.