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Europe makes a union, so now they can all use the same money. Except Britain, because they don't feel like it.
—bill wurtz[1]
Euro coins and banknotes.
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A subset of member nations uses the European Union's own currency unit, the euro (Greek ευρώ, Cyrillic евро)[note 1] (sign: €, code: EUR), hence they are called the eurozone. Originally starting with 11 or 12 members (depending on how Greece, which joined shortly before the implementation of physical currency, is counted), the eurozone has since expanded to twenty countries, with Croatia being the most recent to join in 2023. The euro is also used by some non-EU members, but they are not part of the eurozone and are not represented in the European Central Bank and the Eurogroup. These include the small nations of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican, all of which have an agreement with the EU to use Euros as their currency since their old currencies either were or were pegged to currencies that were rendered obsolete by the switch to Euros. Additionally, Montenegro and Kosovo have adopted the Euro unilaterally since they don't have an alternate currency, but doing this is discouraged by the EU. It's one of the most traded currencies in the world, second only to the United States dollar. The economic performance of the eurozone has been dire, with its rate of unemployment actually soaring for years after the 2007-8 global financial crisis while the US and UK were slowly climbing out of recession and creating jobs, and even Europe's supposed economic powerhouse, Germany, performing pretty unimpressively. Don't even ask about Greece, the eurozone's internal debt colony. Some have claimed that this somehow counts as evidence against the eurozone's animating economic philosophy of so-called "fiscal responsibility", which is so fundamental to the eurozone that it has actually been enshrined in treaty.

According to Eurosceptic conspiracy thinkers, a crisis à la the European sovereign debt crisis was not only anticipated but actually secretly welcomed by European policymakers[note 2] to allow them to push for a European fiscal union that was and remains unpopular with basically all the national electorates of the EU member states. If one pauses to think this scenario through, this would mean risking a major macro-economic meltdown on a scale not seen since the 1930s in order to get a shot at a fiscal union which might, even if it went through, end up as a union of wrecked economies, i.e. like using a nuclear bomb to remove a wasp's nest from your garage, a rather unlikely prospect.


  1. The Cyrillic romanizes to evro, making it the only translation that doesn't transliterate to euro. Instead, most languages pronounce euro according to their own language rules (so in German, it's pronounced like "oyro", in Spanish it's closer to "ehwdo", etc.)
  2. Insert the individual Eurosceptic's bugbear of choice here, popular candidates include the Commission (and the larger "eurocracy" of civil servants etc.), the European Parliament (to grab more power from the member states and parliaments), German and/or French politicians (Angela Merkel & Emmanuel Macron) or any combination of them.