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19 countries from the 28 member countries. The countries are the following: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Netherlands, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and Slovenia. These 19 countries are parts of the Eurozone.
The Euro, as the currency of the Eurozone, is currently being utilized by approximately 337 million people. 6 countries are also using the Euro, which are not part of the Eurozone: Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican, Kosovo and Montenegro. These countries have added EUR through a non-official process. Another country that is using Euro as an official currency is the South-African Zimbabwe, which doesn't have an official currency since 2009, but recognizes many different currencies (including EUR) as payment options.
The Euro has become the second most popular reserve currency globally and has also achieved the number 2 spot behind the United States Dollar (USD) as the currency of global trade.
The European Central Bank and the national banks of the Eurozone are responsible for issuing the Euro as a currency.
The official currency of the European Union, the Euro, was launched on the 1st of January in 1999. The introduction of the currency started with the acceptance of the Maastricht Treaty.
The participating countries agreed on fixing their domestic currencies to the Euro. At first this only meant that the Euro was present as a digital currency and that the before mentioned domestic currencies were simply pegged to its value. Later in 2002, the Euro was also introduced as a cash currency.
One of the noteworthy strengths of the Euro is that is being used as an official currency in several industrially advanced countries. A roll-out to additional European Union members is always under discussion.
Since the Euro is already being used as a standard currency between strong economic forces (and is one of the most popular foreign exchange currencies) we might see a trend in the future where countries switch from USD to EUR as a reserve currency since currently there are not a lot of alternative options in terms of usage and liquidity. Countries such as Russia and the People's Republic of China have for long expressed the desire to utilize a new reserve currency.
As mentioned previously the Euro is one of the most popular and liquid currencies in the foreign exchange (or Forex) markets. Undisputedly the most popular trading pair in these markets is the EUR USD pair. This means that traders either trade their euro to dollar or back.
The latest exchange rates for EUR or USD can be found on Walletinvestor.com together with a popular currency converter to help you with your calculations.
The currency converter will always use the latest exchange rate and can be used to calculate how much USD you would get for a given amount of EUR for example.