Twenty years already! Twenty years since the euro opened a new chapter in contemporary history and in the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people. With the irrevocable fixing of parities between the currencies of the participating countries, which took place overnight on 31 December 1998 with an official ceremony in Luxembourg, Europe embarked on the third stage of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), resulting in the creation of the single currency. The euro was used as a ‘book currency’ from 1999 onwards by the financial markets, before the introduction of banknotes and coins on 1 January 2002 in the twelve euro area Member States. This led to new opportunities in terms of growth, employment, prosperity, and competitiveness for Europe, within a globalised environment.