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Press Release by the
European Central Bank (ECB)



Determination of the euro conversion rates

31 December 1998

In accordance with Article 109l (4) of the Treaty establishing the European Community, the irrevocable conversion rates for the euro were today adopted by the EU Council, upon a proposal from the Commission of the European Communities and after consultation of the European Central Bank (ECB) for effect at 0.00 on 1 January 1999 (local time). In compliance with the legal framework for the use of the euro, the irrevocable conversion rate for the euro for each participating currency is the only rate to be used for conversion either way between the euro and the national currency unit and also for conversions between national currency units.

The euro conversion rates are the following:


Units of national currency for 1

Belgian franc


Deutsche Mark


Spanish peseta


French franc


Irish pound


Italian lira


Luxembourg franc


Dutch guilder


Austrian schilling


Portuguese escudo


Finnish markka



The conversion rates adopted today by the EU Council were determined according to the principles described in a Joint Communiqué, issued on 2 May 1998 by the ministers of the Member States adopting the euro as their single currency, the governors of the national central banks of these Member States, the Commission of the European Communities and the European Monetary Institute. The steps carried out to determine the conversion rates were as follows.

  1. A teleconference was held at 11 a.m. (C.E.T.) in which the EU national central banks, on the basis of observation of the markets, calculated the exchange rates of their national currencies, ensuring that those between the currencies of the participating countries were equal to the pre-announced ERM bilateral central rates.
  2. At the end of the teleconference (11.30 a.m.) on the basis of the rates recorded by the EU national central banks, the Commission calculated the final official ECU exchange rates (to become euro rates) for the participating currencies and transmitted them to the ECB for a cross-check.
  3. Shortly after noon the Governing Council of the ECB, together with the Governors of the four non-euro area national central banks, held a teleconference, chaired by the ECB President, Mr. Duisenberg, to adopt the ECB's Opinion on the proposed "Council (EU) Regulation on the adoption of the conversion rates between the euro and the currencies of the Member States adopting the euro".
  4. The European Commission formally proposed the irrevocable conversion rates for the euro for adoption by the EU Council in a televised session at 12.30 p.m. (C.E.T.). At the same time, the Commission made these proposed rates public via the Internet and financial information providers.
  5. The Council, taking into account the ECB's Opinion, adopted the Regulation and informed the public of its adoption at 1.40 p.m. (C.E.T.). In addition, the European Commission made the adoption public by the same means as when publishing the proposed rates.
  6. At 2 p.m. the ECB will send a S.W.I.F.T. broadcast to all those institutions with a S.W.I.F.T. address to confirm the euro conversion rates.
  7. The Regulation as well as the ECB's Opinion will be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities and will be available from the Office for Official Publications in Luxembourg at 3 p.m. in the eleven official EU languages.
  8. The Regulation will be effective as from 0.00 hours (local time) on 1 January 1999.




European Central Bank
Press Division
Kaiserstrasse 29, D-60311 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: 0049 69 1344 7455, Fax: 0049 69 1344 7404
Reproduction is permitted provided that the source is acknowledged

ECB - European Central Bank

Copyright 1999 EURODOS, Amsterdam