Eurozone

The eurozone ( pronunciation), officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union (EMU) of 17 European Union (EU) member states that have adopted the euro (€) as their common currency and sole legal tender. The eurozone currently consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Most other EU states are obliged to join once they meet the criteria to do so. No state has left and there are no provisions to do so or to be expelled.

Monetary policy of the zone is the responsibility of the European Central Bank (ECB) which is governed by a president and a board of the heads of national central banks. The principal task of the ECB is to keep inflation under control. Though there is no common representation, governance or fiscal policy for the currency union, some co-operation does take place through the Euro Group, which makes political decisions regarding the eurozone and the euro. The Euro Group is composed of the finance ministers of eurozone states, however in emergencies, national leaders also form the Euro Group.

Since the late-2000s financial crisis, the eurozone has established and used provisions for granting emergency loans to member states in return for the enactment of economic reforms. The eurozone has also enacted some limited fiscal integration, for example in peer review of each other's national budgets. The issue is highly political and in a state of flux as of 2011 in terms of what further provisions will be agreed for eurozone reform.

Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City have concluded formal agreements with the EU to use the euro as their official currency and mint their own coins. Others, like Kosovo, Montenegro and Andorra, have adopted the euro unilaterally. However, these countries do not formally form part of the eurozone and do not have representation in the ECB or the Euro Group.

Read more about EurozoneMember States, Administration and Representation, Bailout Provisions, Peer Review

Other articles related to "eurozone":

Euro Group - Economic Government
... Further information Eurozone#Bailout provisions In 2008, in light of the 2008 financial crisis, French President Nicolas Sarkozy (speaking at the ... The eurozone economic government would discuss issues with the European Central Bank, which would remain independent ... This government would come in the form of a regular meeting of the eurozone heads of state and government (similar to the European Council) rather than simply the ...
Late-2000s Recession In Europe - Eurozone - Portugal
2010, the Portuguese Government announced a fresh austerity package following other Eurozone partners, through a series of tax hikes and salary cuts for public servants ... In 2009, the deficit had been 9.4 percent, one of the highest in the Eurozone and way above the European Union's Stability and Growth Pact three percent limit ...
Modern Europe - European Union - Economic Integration - Eurozone
... The Eurozone refers to the European Union member states that have adopted the euro currency union as the third stage of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) ... The Eurozone came into existence with the official launch of the euro on 1 January 1999 ...
Enlargement Of The Eurozone
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Eurozone - Peer Review
... go with it have sometimes been described as potential infringements on the sovereignty of eurozone member states However, in June 2010, a broad agreement was ... The plans would apply to all EU members, not just the eurozone, and have to be approved by EU leaders along with proposals for states to face sanctions before they reach the 3% limit in the ...