In 1971 USA abolished the fixed link between the dollar and the official price of gold, As a result, in March 1979, EU created theEMSin order to prevent exchange fluctuations of more than 2.25 % between the European currencies.
At the European Council in Madridin June 1989, EU leaders adopted a three-stage plan for economic and monetary union. This plan became part of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union adopted by the European Council in December 1991.
The first stage began on 1 July 1990, the second one, on 1 January 1994 and, the third one, that was the birth of the euro, on 1 January 1999. That year, 11 countries adopted the euro:Austria,Belgium,Finland,France,Germany,Ireland,Italy,Luxembourg, theNetherlands,PortugalandSpain,Greecejoined them on 1 January 2001). Euro as a cash currency did not become a legal tender until later, on January 1, 2002.
From 2001, whenGreeceadopted this common money, till nowadays, other countries have also adopted the euro.
On 1st January 2004,CzechRepublic,Estonia,Cyprus,Latvia,Lithuania,Hungary,Malta,Poland,Slovenia andSlovakia adopted the euro.
On 1st January 2007,Bulgaria andRomania joined this group.
On 1st January 2011,Estonia, finally, adopted the euro.
Written by Mireya Vicent.