Having become part of the Eurosystem on 1 January 2015, the Bank of Lithuania, together with the other 18 national banks, gained the right to issue into and withdraw from circulation euro banknotes. At EU level, issues related to euro banknote production and issuance are coordinated by the European Central Bank
We also issue into and withdraw from circulation euro coins. In euro area countries, the national central bank or the Ministry of Finance may be responsible for the issue of euro coins. At the EU level, issues related to related to euro coin production and issuance are coordinated by the European Commission.
Our work in the field of currency:
We take care of the production of the necessary stock of euro banknotes and coins
Banknotes are printed only at reliable printing houses that are accredited by the European Central Bank. By order of the Bank of Lithuania, circulation euro coins are minted at the Lithuanian Mint, operating in Vilnius.
The Mint strikes collector and commemorative coins issued by the Bank of Lithuania.
We ensure smooth currency circulation in Lithuania
To ensure the supply of good quality currency, we have introduced modern, fully-automated banknote and coin handling equipment. We check, recount and sort money returning from circulation to the Bank of Lithuania branches in Vilnius and Kaunas as well as establish its degree of wear. Banknotes and coins in line with the ECB quality requirements are re-issued into cirluation, while worn out currency is destroyed. Watch a video on currency circulation:
For the circulation of currency to go smoothly, we ensure its timely restock and secure storage.
We perform euro banknote and coin authenticity examinations, i.e. establish whether the money is real or counterfeit
The Bank of Lithuania was given the status of National Analysis Centre and National Coin Analysis Centre in Lithuania. This means that competent institutions (such as the police) forward suspicious euro banknotes and coins to the experts at the Bank of Lithuania.
We perform acceptability evaluations and genuineness tests on damaged euro banknotes and coins
Our experts, having examined the damaged euro banknotes and coins, evaluate the possibility of compensating the value of the damaged currency. If it is established that the money is counterfeit or deliberately damaged, its value is not compensated.
We supervise the activities of cash handlers operating in the country
We monitor how cash handlers – credit institutions, other payment service providers and economic agents – manage money, inspect whether they are in compliance with cash management and re-issue requirements and re-issue into circulation only the euro that are authentic and suitable for circulation.
We are involved in the creation of the euro
Together with the other Eurosystem central banks, we contribute to the design process for euro banknotes and coins, improvement of security features and production quality.
Our money – the euro
|Nowadays 19 out of 28 EU Member States use euro banknotes and coins on a daily basis. 338 million people use the common European currency for payments, it facilitates trade and travel.|
Countries using the euro
Currently, the euro area consists of 19 European Union Member States: Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, and Germany. It comprises the Member States that have adopted the euro as the single currency and apply single monetary policy. The European Central Bank and the national central banks that have adopted the euro make up the Eurosystem.
The small countries – Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City – use euro currency according to a formal agreement with the European Community. Montenegro and Kosovo also use the euro as their currency but without an official agreement.
Overseas departments, territories and islands are associated with the euro area Member States or are considered to be part thereof, hence Azores, Guyana, Guadeloupe, Mayotte, Martinique, Reunion, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon also have euro in circulation.
History of the euro
In 1957, the Treaty of Rome was signed, which established the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the European Economic Community (EEC). The Member States sought to remove trade and customs tariff barriers, creating a common market.
In 1979, governments and central banks of nine EEC Member States (Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France, and West Germany) created the European Monetary System (EMS), the goal of which was to move towards a single currency.
In 1988, the European Council, i.e. the heads of state and government, confirmed the intention to create an Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). An expert committee, headed by the then European Commission President Jacques Delors, analysed the ways of achieving the EMU. His report, which is known as the Delors Report, provides three phases for its creation.
In 1992, 12 European Union (EU) Member State representatives signed the EU Treaty (Maastricht Treaty), which provides for the introduction of the EU single currency and the European Central Bank.
In December 1995 in Madrid, the European Council decided to call the future single currency the euro. The official graphic symbol for the euro – € – was created from the Greek letter epsilon, referring to the first letter of the word ‘Europa’. The symbol is crossed by two horizontal lines, which symbolise the stability of the euro area. The euro is marked with the alphabetical code ‘EUR’ and the numerical code ‘978’.
As of 1 January 1999, the new monetary unit – the euro – replaced the national currencies in electronic transfers of 11 countries: Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Finland and Germany; from the beginning of 2001, Greece also joined these countries.
On 1 January 2002, the first euro cash appeared in 12 European Union countries.
On 1 January 2007, the euro was issued into circulation in Slovenia. In terms of the new EU Member States, it was the first country to adopt the euro.
On 1 January 2008, the euro was adopted by two more European Union countries – Cyprus and Malta.
On 1 January 2009, Slovakia adopted the euro.
On 1 January 2011, the euro was adopted in Estonia.
On 2 May 2013, the new €5 banknote of the Europa series was issued into circulation in the euro area.
On 1 January 2014, the euro was adopted in Latvia.
On 23 September 2014, the new €10 banknote of the Europa series started circulating in the euro area.
On 1 January 2015, the euro was adopted in Lithuania.
On 25 November 2015, the new €20 banknote of the Europa series was issued into circulation in the euro area.
On 4 April 2017, the new €50 banknote of the Europa series will be introduced in the euro area.