Features include interactive map, in-depth stories, and more.Download now. »
The week's top five must-sees,
delivered to your inbox.
The eurozone, officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union of 17 European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their common currency and sole legal tender. The eurozone currently consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Other EU states are obliged to join once they meet the criteria to do so. No state has left and there are no provisions to do so or to be expelled. Monetary policy of the zone is the responsibility of the European Central Bank which is governed by a president and a board of the heads of national central banks. The principal task of the ECB is to keep inflation under control. Though there is no common representation, governance or fiscal policy for the currency union, some co-operation does take place through the Euro Group, which makes political decisions regarding the eurozone and the euro. The Euro Group is composed of the finance ministers of eurozone states, however in emergencies, national leaders also form the Euro Group. (via Freebase)