In which countries is it possible to pay in euro?

Why have not all the European Union countries adopted the euro?
Is it currently possible to exchange German marks, Finnish marks or French francs in Estonia?
In which countries is the euro legal tender?


Why have not all the European Union countries adopted the euro?
In order to adopt the euro, countries first have to join the exchange rate mechanism ERM II. They must participate in the mechanism without severe tensions for at least two years before they can qualify to adopt the euro. Thereafter, the compliance of the countries’ economic and legal environment to the euro area requirements will be assessed. In addition to the seventeen euro area countries, another three European Union countries are currently members of ERM II. Several countries are also planning to join the mechanism. Thus, the euro area may expand by a number of countries within the next five years. The UK and Denmark have secured an opt-out from having to introduce the euro, but other EU Member States are obliged to change over to the single currency.
Is it currently possible to exchange German marks, Finnish marks or French francs in Estonia?
With the adoption of the euro in the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) Member States at the beginning of 2002, the national currencies of these countries were removed from circulation. Eesti Pank does not have comprehensive information on which currencies are changed by commercial banks or foreign exchange bureaus. For more precise or up-to-date information we recommend addressing a specific bank or a foreign exchange bureau.

If banks or foreign exchange bureaus do not exchange former currencies of the EMU Member States, you could always address the central bank of the country whose currency you wish to exchange. The following table shows closing dates of the exchange of former national currencies of the EMU Member States:
Central bank Banknotes until   Coins until
Belgium Unlimited period 31.12.2004
Germany Unlimited period Unlimited period
Greece 01.03.2012 01.03.2004
Spain Unlimited period Unlimited period
France 17.02.2012 17.02.2005
Ireland Unlimited period Unlimited period
Italy 29.02.2012 29.02.2012
Luxembourg Unlimited period 31.12. 2004
The Netherlands*   01.01.2032 01.01.2007
Austria Unlimited period Unlimited period
Portugal 28.02.2022 31.12. 2002
Finland 29.02.2012 29.12.2012
Estonia Unlimited period Unlimited period
* Dutch gulden (banknotes and coins) are changed by the Central Bank of the Netherlands on the condition they have not been acquired in the course of business activities after 27.10.2002. Additional information on the website of the Central Bank of the Netherlands.

In which countries is the euro legal tender?
The euro was introduced as account money on 1 January 1999 in eleven European Union Member States. Euro cash has been in use since 1 January 2002. The euro is legal tender in seventeen EU Member States, six other European countries, and territories and islands that belong to EU Member States or are otherwise related to them.

EU Member States that belong to the euro area: Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia.

European countries where the euro is legal tender: Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, Andorra, Montenegro and Kosovo.