Lithuania adopted the euro on 1 January 2015- on the 15th anniversary of the launch of the single currency in 1999. Some 337 million Europeans in 19 Member States now share the same currency.
Euro information stand in a mall of Vilnius © EU
After Lithuania adopted the euro on 1 January 2015 - on the 15th anniversary of the launch of the single currency in 1999 - some 337 million Europeans in 19 Member States now share the same currency. This is a major achievement for Lithuania and for the euro area as a whole. As of today Lithuanians start withdrawing euro cash and paying for their purchases in euro.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, said: "I want to warmly welcome Lithuania to the euro. Lithuania's accession marks the completion of the Baltic States' journey back to the political and economic heart of our continent. This is a symbolic moment not only for Lithuania, but also for the euro area itself, which remains stable, attractive and open to new members. I am convinced that the Baltic States' membership in the euro area will strengthen the economy of the region by making it even more attractive to businesses, trade and investment."
Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: "In joining the euro, the Lithuanian people are choosing to be part of an area of stability, security and prosperity. Lithuania has a strong track record of sound fiscal policies and structural reforms, which have delivered some of the highest growth rates in Europe, coupled with steadily falling unemployment. The country is well-placed to thrive in the euro area."
As of the 1 January 2015, the euro will gradually replace the litas as the currency of Lithuania. There will be a dual circulation period of two weeks, during which the two currencies will be in use alongside each other in order to allow for a progressive withdrawal of Lithuanian litas. When receiving a payment in litas, the change will be given in euro. This has been made possible thanks to thorough preparations ahead of the introduction of the single currency.