The zone Euro (which belongs to the economic Union and monetarist (UEM) ) is a monetary Area which gathers the Pays European Union which adopted the Euro (€) like single Monnaie. Thirteen European countries representing 318 million inhabitants belong to the euro area at January 1st, 2007.
Several criteria are necessary to join the euro area: a Public deficit lower than 3 % of GDP, a national debt not exceeding 60 % of the GDP, a Inflation controlled, an independence of the Central bank of the country and that the national currency is stable during two years within MCE II.
History and origin
The euro area is one of the principal stages of economic integration within the European Union. It was envisaged with the creation of the economic Union and monetarist that all the countries of the EU integrate it in the long term.
With its creation, in 1999, the euro area included/understood eleven of the fifteen countries which the EU counted then, primarily the countries founders or histories. At their entry, they were supposed to respect the criteria Stability pact and of growth. The Italy and the Spain made great budgetary efforts to respect these criteria. Certain countries (Italy, Belgium, etc) integrated the zone in spite of a national Debt higher than 100 % of GDP.
Country using the euro
Member StatesSince January 1st, 2007, the 13 Member States of the euro area are: the Belgium, the Germany, the Greece, the Spain, the France, the Ireland, the Italy, the Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Austria, the Slovenia, the Portugal and the Finland.
The Czech Republic aims at dated January 1st, 2012.
The Sweden voluntarily delays its entry in the euro area, until an unspecified date.
On a purely anecdotic basis, before the accession of Slovenia, the geographical Barycentre of the first twelve countries of the euro area was located in France, on the commune of Montreuillon (Nievre), according to calculations of the National Geographical Institut French. The new “center of the euro area” at January 1st, 2007 moved of ten kilometers towards the east. It is from now on on the commune of Mhère (Nievre).
Country having an agreement with Member States
In addition to the thirteen Member States of the UEM, 3 microphone-States legally use the euro like official currency without being members of the European Union. Indeed these microphone-States had agreements with countries to use their currency before the euro area is built, which was the case of San Marino and the the Vatican which had agreements with Italy to use the lira and of Monaco which had agreements with France to use the French franc. This situation enables them to have their own national face on the coins which they emit in euros.
Andorra, which used the French franc and the peseta Spanish at the time of the passage to the euro found de facto in the euro area. At present, Andorre does not have the right to strike its coins in euro with its own national face, but a negotiation is in hand with the ECB and the European commission so that in the near future it can strike its currency and to have its own estampillée series of euros Andorre (not before 2008).
Country without formal agreement with the EU or of the Member StatesThe Montenegro uses unilaterally the euro as legal tender.
The autonomous province Serb of the Kosovo uses the euro instead of the Serb dinar, within the framework of the Accords of Dayton which gave mandate to the the United Nations for the administration of the province.
Currencies related to the euro with the agreement of the European UnionBecause of prior agreements (with the French franc and the Portuguese Escudo), of the African currencies and océaniennes are related to the euro by a rate fixe :
- CFA franc BEAC (code XAF) ;
- CFA franc BCEAO (code XOF) ;
- Frankly CFP (code XPF) ;
- the Frankly Comorian (code KMF) ;
- the Escudo course-verdien of the Cape Verde (code CVE).
Other countriesSeveral countries of the European Union do not form part of the euro area:
- among the States having joined the Union before 2004, the Denmark (which has a permanent exemption but whose currency is related to the euro by a mechanism of exchange known as MCE II) but the Danish government projects to subject a Referendum in favorable ballotage on the adhesion of the country and the suppression of the other exemptions from the neighborhoods of 2008, the the United Kingdom (which have a permanent exemption) and the Sweden (which deferred its adhesion in 2003, but does not have a permanent exemption and must seek to achieve the short-term goal).
- Among the 10 novel members of 2004 and the 2 novel members of 2007, the majority hope to join the zone as fast as possible, but for the moment only the Slovenia adopted the Euro since January 1st, 2007. The other countries are: the Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Slovakia, the Poland, Malta, Cyprus, the Lithuania, the Latvia, the Estonia, the Romania and the Bulgaria. Estonia and Lithuania adhered at the same time as Slovenia to MCE II in June 2004, first stage at their entry in the euro area and were joined by the Latvia, Cyprus and Malta with the May 2nd 2005. The Bulgaria, member of the EU since January 1st, 2007, practical already the fixed rate with the Euro since January 1st 1999 (at the rates of 1,95583 new Lev for one euro, is the convertion rate of the Deutschemark) and should be able to integrate the euro area two years after the coming into effect of the Treaty of Accession (in 2009).
Growth of the euro area
The Germany knew a weak growth of GDP at the beginnings of the Années 2000, causing an aggregate growth of the rather weak euro area. The France also had problems. This situation, and the absence of structural reforms, accentuated the budget deficits from these two State S (budgets being based on growth prospects), which caused criticisms on behalf of the remainder of the European Union because of the Stability pact and growth ((PSC) which governs it: the Member States should not have a Public deficit higher than 3% of their GDP.
The growth of the Germany set out again with the rise as from the second quarters 2006.
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