On 1 January 1999 the European Union ushered in a new era with the successful transition from national currencies to the euro. Today the euro is one of the world’s major currencies, and only the US dollar surpasses it in terms of its usage and global influence. It is currently used by 320 million people in 16 countries, and with the exceptions of Britain and Denmark (which received derogations from Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) participation), all EU Member States are eventually obliged to adopt it as their currency, thus ensuring the growth and continuation of its influence.
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