Poland’s government spelled out the country’s path to adopting the euro by 2012, part of a series of moves designed to help calm spooked investors who have been retreating from the Polish zloty as emerging market currencies are buffeted by the global financial crisis.
As well as serving as the currency of the euro area, the euro has a strong international presence. Currencies are the means by which wealth is stored, protected and exchanged between countries, organisations and individuals. A global currency, such as the euro, does this on a global scale. Since its introduction in 1999, it has firmly established itself as a major international currency, second only to the US dollar.
The European Union grows as candidate countries meet the conditions for entry and accede to the Union – this process is known as enlargement. Similarly, the euro area is enlarging as non-euro-area EU Member States meet the conditions for entry and adopt the euro.
Commemorative 2 Euro coins will be issued by all euro-area Member States, starting in January 2009. The coin shows a stick figure which merges into the € symbol. It seeks to convey the idea of the single currency and, by extension, Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) being the latest step in Europe’s long history of trade and economic integration.