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Eurozone participation  European Union (EU) member states  .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  19 in the eurozone   2 in ERM II, without opt-outs (Bulgaria and Croatia)   1 in ERM II, with an opt-out (Denmark)   5 not in ERM II, but obliged to join the eurozone on meeting convergence criteria (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden)  Non–EU member territories    4 using the euro with a monetary agreement (Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City)   2 using the euro unilaterally (Kosovo[a] and Montenegro)   .mw-parser-output .navbar{display:inline;font-size:88%;font-weight:normal}.mw-parser-output .navbar-collapse{float:left;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .navbar-boxtext{word-spacing:0}.mw-parser-output .navbar ul{display:inline-block;white-space:nowrap;line-height:inherit}.mw-parser-output .navbar-brackets::before{margin-right:-0.125em;content:"[ "}.mw-parser-output .navbar-brackets::after{margin-left:-0.125em;content:" ]"}.mw-parser-output .navbar li{word-spacing:-0.125em}.mw-parser-output .navbar a>span,.mw-parser-output .navbar a>abbr{text-decoration:inherit}.mw-parser-output .navbar-mini abbr{font-variant:small-caps;border-bottom:none;text-decoration:none;cursor:inherit}.mw-parser-output .navbar-ct-full{font-size:114%;margin:0 7em}.mw-parser-output .navbar-ct-mini{font-size:114%;margin:0 4em}vte
Eurozone participation
European Union (EU) member states
  19 in the eurozone
  2 in ERM II, without opt-outs (Bulgaria and Croatia)
  1 in ERM II, with an opt-out (Denmark)
  5 not in ERM II, but obliged to join the eurozone on meeting convergence criteria (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden)
Non–EU member territories
  4 using the euro with a monetary agreement (Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City)
  2 using the euro unilaterally (Kosovo[a] and Montenegro)

Kosovo adopted the euro as its de facto legal tender in 2002[1] despite the territory not being a member of the Eurozone or the European Union. This succeeded its use of German marks from 1999.[2][3][4]


Main article: Yugoslav dinar

5000 dinar banknote (1985)
5000 dinar banknote (1985)

During the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s Kosovo unsuccessfully attempted to gain independence, and in 1998-1999 the situation escalated with the Kosovo War.

Kosovo declared independence on 17 February 2008. As of 4 September 2020, 114 out of 193 (59.1%) United Nations member states have formally recognised the Republic of Kosovo, of which 14 have since been withdrawn. Notably, 22 out of 27 (81%) member states of the European Union and 24 out of 28 (86%) member states of NATO have recognised Kosovo. Serbia refuses to recognise it.

Monetary situation prior to 1999

Before the establishment of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Kosovo was bound to Yugoslav monetary policy, and used the Yugoslav dinar as its currency. However, war-time inflation and tensions with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had severely discredited the Yugoslav dinar. As a result, many preferred to use and hoard foreign currencies instead of relying on the dinar. The most frequently used foreign currencies were the Albanian lek and the German mark, although the U.S. dollar and French franc were also widely used.

Introduction of the mark

A 100 Mark banknote
A 100 Mark banknote

Main article: Deutsche Mark

In the immediate post-conflict period, other currencies – especially the Deutsche Mark[5] – were widely used alongside the dinar. In September 1999, UNMIK produced a regulation accepting the use of other currencies; this recognised the status quo.[6][7][8] The Yugoslav dinar was never officially withdrawn from circulation, but its use was "not encouraged". The use of other currencies, mainly the Albanian lek, also continued.[b][9] The Deutsche Bundesbank was not informed in advance, and did not send any additional coins and notes to Kosovo for the changeover. But since there were no restrictions on the import and export of Deutsche Marks, and many Kosovars working abroad had sent money home, it was possible to supply Kosovo with sufficient Deutsche Marks.

The Yugoslav (and later Serbian dinar) continued to be widely used in Northern Kosovo and Serb enclaves throughout Kosovo.

Towards the euro

Euro coins and banknotes of various denominations
Euro coins and banknotes of various denominations

Main article: Euro

Like Germany, Kosovo switched to the euro on 1 January 2002. The Deutsche Mark remained legal tender in Kosovo until 9 March 2002.

The change to the euro was achieved in cooperation with the European Central Bank (ECB) and national banks in the Eurozone.[10] By December 2001, about 100 million euro in cash was frontloaded to the Banking and Payments Authority of Kosovo.[11] Kosovo does not mint any coins of its own.

EU membership

Main article: Accession of Kosovo to the European Union

Kosovo is a potential candidate for joining the European Union. The European Commission and the European Central Bank have voiced their discontent over countries unilaterally adopting the euro on several occasions in the past,[12] and it is unclear whether Kosovo would be able to accede to the EU while using the euro. Montenegro, which similarly unilaterally adopted the euro in 2002, had a statement attached to their Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU that read: "unilateral introduction of the euro was not compatible with the Treaty."[13] The issue is expected to be resolved through the accession negotiations process,[12] with the ECB having stated that the implications of unilateral euro adoption "would be spelled out at the latest in the event of possible negotiations on EU accession."[13] Diplomats have suggested that it is unlikely that countries will be forced to withdraw the euro from circulation.[13][14]

See also


  1. ^ The political status of Kosovo is disputed. Having unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Kosovo is formally recognised as an independent state by 101 UN member states (with another 13 states recognising it at some point but then withdrawing their recognition) and 92 states not recognizing it, while Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory.
  2. ^ The Deutsche Bundesbank estimated in September 1999 that the 2 billion Deutsche Marks were held in the former Yugoslavia. This would amount to more than 80 Marks per person.


  1. ^ European Central Bank. "The Euro outside European Union". Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Kouchner Signs Regulation on Foreign Currency" (Press release). 2 September 1999. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012.
  3. ^ "European Commission – Enlargement – Kosovo – Economic profile – Enlargement". European Commission. 30 October 2010. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Euro used as legal tender in non-EU nations – Business – International Herald Tribune – The New York Times". International Herald Tribune. 1 January 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  5. ^ "Kosovo adopts Deutschmark". BBC. 3 September 1999. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Administrative Direction No. 1999/2 (On the currency permitted to be used in Kosovo)". UNMIK. 4 October 1999. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Enlargement – Kosovo". European Commission. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  8. ^ Mitra, Saumya (2001). Kosovo: economic and social reforms for peace and reconciliation. pp. 22. ISBN 978-0-8213-4942-7.
  9. ^ Tagesspiegel (1999). Deutsche Währung wird auch im Kosovo offizielles Zahlungsmittel - die Bundesbank wurde nicht gefragt (in German), 1999-09-07.
  10. ^ Bevölkerung am 1. Januar(in German) (seit 2008), Eurostat,
  11. ^ Michel Svetchine, Kosovo experience with euroization of its economy Archived 2015-09-23 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b "EU warns Montenegro over Euro". B92. 2007-10-10. Archived from the original on 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
  13. ^ a b c "Montenegro heading for EU membership". 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2013-02-19.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "EU to question Montenegro's use of euro". 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2013-02-19.