With this issue, Monnaie de Paris is commemorating the 10th anniversary of the euro as a payment instrument.
The euro was adopted on January 1, 1999 by 12 Member States of the European Monetary Union (EMU). On January 1, 2002, these 12 countries officially introduced the euro banknotes and coins as legal tender. Since then, the euro has also been adopted by Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia and Estonia. The currency is also used in a further five European countries and consequently used daily by 332 million Europeans. Additionally, over 175 million people worldwide – including 150 million people in Africa – use currencies that are pegged to the euro.
The obverse features the traditional Sower design created by Oscar Roty in 1898, which has since become a timeless symbol of French currency. The 12 stars around the coin’s edge represent the 12 founding countries of the eurozone.