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History of the Euro
The euro was launched on 1 January 1999 as an electronic currency and became legal tender on 1 January 2002, but attempts to create a single currency go back 20 years. This chart shows the value of the euro (before 1999 as a basket of the 11 legacy currencies) against the US dollar.
Hover or Click on the graphic below

Maastricht Treaty
In 1991 the 15 members of the European Union, meeting in the Dutch town of Maastricht, agreed to set up a single currency as part of a drive towards Economic and Monetary Union. There were strict criteria for joining, including targets for inflation, interest rates and budget deficits. A European Central Bank was established to set interest rates. Britain and Denmark opted out of these plans.
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