© J R Stockton, ≥ 2012-07-31

Europe and Euro

Links within this site :-


This page shows in the default fonts of your browser; results may vary accordingly. Its text is written using Times New Roman.

My thanks to Teemu Leisti of Helsinki for various corrections.

The Continent of Europe

Europe in Wikimapia.

The Boundaries of Europe

The Eurasian boundary has been given as the line of the Ural mountains and the Ural river, the Caspian Sea, the crest of the Caucasus, the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, which puts part of Kazakhstan in Europe, and excludes Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and most of Turkey.

A later atlas excludes all of Kazakhstan and includes all of the others named above, and Cyprus. Then it puts the border through the Southern Mediterranean into the Atlantic, south of Madeira, through the Denmark Strait, north of Svalbard, but west of Novaya Zemlya, then on land down the 60° meridian to the Kazakh border. It puts Asia Minor in Europe. But this classification may be only for atlas-indexing, and is not claimed as definitive.

Wikipedia :-
 • Europe
 • Borders of the continents
 • List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe

The Countries of Europe

An EU list of European Countries

At Europa, European countries shows "Member states of the EU, Candidate countries, Other European countries". On 2007-09-05, it showed :-
Member states of the EU
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
Future Members
Croatia, maybe 2013-07-01
Candidate countries
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Iceland.
Other European countries
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Vatican City State.

According to another source
Bosnia and Herzegowina  
Czech Republic
Faeroe Islands
Holy See (Vatican City State)  
Russian Federation
San Marino
Serbia and Montenegro *
United Kingdom

Not included in that list

Channel IslandsIsle of ManKosovo

Subsequent Changes
June 2006 : Serbia and Montenegro separated
2012-07-31 : The BBC Web News Europe page lists the following as Countries :-
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican.
It lists the following as Territories :-
Abkhazia, Ajaria, Ceuta + Melilla, Channel Islands, Chechnya, Corsica, Crimea, Dagestan, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Ingushetia, Isle of Man, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kaliningrad, Kalmykia, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, North Ossetia, South Ossetia, Trans-Dniester.

Geographical Fragments

Turkey is at least partly in Europe; the Russian Federation is partly in Europe; Kazakhstan seems to be partly in Europe.

Kaliningrad is a non-contiguous part of European Russia, between Lithuania, Poland, and the Baltic Sea.

Corsica is a part of France; Sardinia and Sicily are parts of Italy; Crete is a part of Greece. Mount Athos is geographically part of Greece.

The village of Seborga, on the Italian Riviera, has claimed independence : Daily Telegraph, 2006-06-13 p.17 and 2010-04-28 p.17.

The United Kingdom

Read :-

The United Kingdom consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; but not the Republic of Ireland.

As a geographical term, Great Britain refers to the largest of the British Isles.
It is unclear how separate an island should be to merit exclusion, The Scillies, the Isle of Wight, the Isle of Sheppey, Chiswick Eyot, Fiddler's Island?

In that political sense, Great Britain refers to the largest of the British Isles together with the nearby small islands.

Great Britain consists of England, Wales, and Scotland; but not the Isle of Man nor the Channel Islands nor any part of the island of Ireland.

The British Isles consist of Great Britain, the whole of Ireland, and the Isle of Man (between Great Britain and Ireland); but opinions differ about whether the Channel Islands (off the coast of France) are or should be included.

The Channel Islands consist of the Bailiwicks of : (a) Jersey; (b) Guernsey and dependencies (Alderney, Sark, etc.). Chausey is geographically a Channel Island, but is French.

In the island of Ireland, there are four Provinces : Connaught, Leinster, Munster, and Ulster, each divided into counties. Connaught, Leinster, Munster, and three of the counties of Ulster (Cavan Donegal Monaghan) make up the Republic of Ireland. The remaining six counties (Antrim Armagh Down Fermanagh Londonderry Tyrone) of Ulster constitute Northern Ireland and are part of the UK.

The Crown Dependencies

The three Crown Dependencies are the Isle of Man, the Bailiwick of Jersey, and the Bailiwick of Guernsey. They are in neither the UK nor the EU.

The British Islands

The British Islands are the British part of the British Isles - the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; the Isle of Man; and the two Bailiwicks, Guernsey and Jersey. The term is used in UK Law (Interpretation Act 1978).

UK Overseas Territories

According to Wikipedia :-
Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena (Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands.

According to the FCO :-
Anguilla, British Antarctic Territory, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena and Dependencies (Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha), Turk and Caicos Islands, Pitcairn Island, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus.


I've made a more-or-less reliable list of what the majority realm in the British Isles has been called over the years, in modern English spelling :-

"Roman Britain"
from AD 43 or soon after; omitting Scotland and Ireland.
from AD 410 or thereabouts
"All England"
from AD 954 - most of present-day England
from sometime between 1014 & 1040
also including Wales, from a date in 1289 (conquest, first Prince of Wales) to 1536 (unity, by Act of Parliament)
Joint monarchy
from March 1603 - James I & VI - Union Flag from 1606-04-12
"Great Britain"
from 1707-05-01 : England&Wales (Act of 1707-02-28) + Scotland (Act of 1707-01-16) ; Royal Assent 1707-03-09
"The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland"
from 1800-07-02
"The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"
from 1927-04-12 or thereabouts

From 1542 to 1800, I believe that Ireland was a Kingdom, with the same Monarch as England / Great Britain.

Most of the dates are uncertain to at least some extent, until the precise terms of the changes are discovered. RSVP.

Berwick-upon-Tweed has tended to be anomalous.

The European Union

Note : as a matter of practical necessity, non-EU parts of Western Europe comply with many EU regulations.

EEC/EC/EU Member States

The initial 6 EEC members were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, West Germany (1958).

The United Kingdom, with Denmark and Ireland, joined the EC on 1973-01-01, making 9.

Greenland (previously included with Denmark) left in 1979.

Greece joined from 1981.

Portugal and Spain joined in 1986.

East Germany was included by the re-unification of Germany, with effect from 1990-10-03.

Norway declined to join the EEC in 1973 and the EU in 1995 (both by referendum, terms having been negotiated).

Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined in 1995.

The 15 EU members in 2003 were :- Austria, Belgium, Denmark (excluding Greenland and the Faeroes), Finland (including the semi-autonomous Åland Islands), France (which includes Corsica; and including the overseas départements : Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Réunion), Germany, Greece, the Republic of Ireland, Italy (which includes Sicily and Sardinia), Luxembourg, the Netherlands (excluding the Netherlands Antilles), Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira), Spain (including Ceuta, Melilla, the Balearics and the Canaries), Sweden, the United Kingdom (with Gibraltar; without the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands).

On 2004-05-01, these 10 countries joined the EU : Cyprus (in effect, only Southern), the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia.

On 2007-01-01, these 2 countries joined the EU : Bulgaria, Romania.

On 2013-07-01, Croatia may join the EU.

Candidate countries :-
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • Iceland
  • Montenegro
  • Turkey

Potential Applicants :-
  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Serbia
  • Kosovo

See Enlargement of the European Union.

Other Associated Territories

These include :-
UK-linked : the Cayman Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension Island, the Falklands ...
Others ...

Gibraltar has been "... part of the EU since British accession in 1973."; but is exempt from the customs union and the common agricultural policy.

Other European Countries

The Isle of Man, the Channel Islands.

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine, the Vatican City State (Holy See), ... any others ?

Other Countries and Territories

These need to be correctly placed above :-
The French overseas territories of French Polynesia, Mayotte, New Caledonia, St.-Pierre-et-Miquelon, and Wallis and Futuna. ... ?


Not part of geographical Europe, but culturally linked; listed mainly to show that they have not been entirely forgotten. :- Israel ... any others ?

Not Geographically Europe

Greenland (left EEC/EU 1979), Israel, some or all of Kazakhstan, most of Russia, ...
Opinions differ about whether Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and most of Turkey are in geographical Europe.

Tax Status

Some offshore regions, etc. have special Tax and/or Customs status :- Ålands, Canaries, Livigno (Italy), ...?

Two-Letter Country Code

I asked : "Has EU been added to ISO 3166 as a country code?" (it would be silly to allow it to be used for anything else).

Markus Kuhn replied that the EU is not yet a country, but the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code EU has been reserved for the EU.


The EU Flag

We did not get a new flag with more stars in May 2004; the twelve stars remain as they have always been.


For Summer Time in Europe, and elsewhere, refer to Summer Time.

The Date of Easter Sunday within the EU is undoubtedly given by the Gregorian Rule, as required by the Papal Bull of 1582 and the British Calendar Act of 1751. I gather that there is no EU definition; the EU relies on its member countries.

For public holidays : At Europa, Choosing a time to travel has and links to related information. Information on Public Holidays shows an EC database.


Links to the national web portals of the member states of the European Union can be found at the following web site: Index.

The European Free Trade Area

The EFTA comprises Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

In Single Market with the EU : free movement of capital, goods, services, and people.

Outside : EU Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policy and others.

The European Economic Area

The EEA comprises Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein plus EU.

The Euro Character

The Euro Sign in HTML and JavaScript

Standards require that the Euro is represented either as € or with its Unicode number, as € (tests : € and € in your browser. In my Win98 MS IE4, only € was recognised; in WinXP sp2 IE6, both were).

The Euro character is more reliably present in the simpler, more common text fonts than on older, rarer, or obscurer ones.

On Various Systems

In HTML, Dollar is represented by "$", but Pound by "£" or "£". I have not read of a corresponding small number for the Euro, but the deprecated "€" did work in my MSIE4, giving "€" - font permitting; I've since read of "€", the proper standard, giving "€". Numerically, 8364 = $20AC; as follows (font-dependent). Also, "€" should now work.

HTML :- &#163;&pound;&#128; &#8364;&euro; <strike>C</strike> <del>C</del>
You get :- ££ CC
Win98 Ed1
MSIE 4, local
OKOKOK OK&euro;could servecould serve
WinXP sp2
MSIE 6, local
OKOKOK OKOKcould servecould serve

Euro Sign Programmers' Questions and Answers

While the latest standards should be used wherever possible, when using older hardware/software systems it may be necessary to use other methods.

Keying, Transmitting, and Displaying the Euro Character


I have read and (using my UK keyboard setup) verified that the Euro Currency Character (like "C"-overprinted-by-"=") is known to Windows 98. It is at position 128, and is typed in by using AltGr-4; Alt-Ctrl-4; keypad Alt-0128. As this "4" key has another alien currency symbol, '$', given by Shift-4, there is a clear risk of using the wrong one; Alt-Gr<anything-but-3-or-4> would have been a wiser choice.

In DOS, #128 (Alt-128) is Upper-case C-cedilla, Ç; in Code Page 437, #238 resembles the Euro sign (it is intended for element of and/or Greek ε (epsilon)).

I have read that the Euro character in Windows 98 with foreign keyboards may be given by some combination of {AltGr/RightAlt} & {4/5/e/u}.

USUS Int'lUKDEetc.
Alt-0128AltGr-5 AltGr-4AltGr-E?

In Code Page 1251 (Cyrillic), I hear it's at 136.

A list of possibilities for various PC keyboards included :- AltGr-4, Alt0128, AltGr-E, AltGr-ε, AltGr-5, AltGr-U, Alt0136.


Note that the top bit of characters is not guaranteed to be preserved across all links, including in the Internet; and that #128 would probably transform to #0 or Null, and hence either vanish from sight or act as a string terminator.

Note also that there's not much point in putting it in and transmitting it unless you can also get it out - check the capabilities of your screen(s) and printer(s). It may well be safer to use the triliteral EUR instead.


My Windows 98 fonts Courier New, Times New Roman and Arial had the euro glyph, but many of its other fonts did not - refer to Character Map.


On an up-to-date printer and system, the character should work.

On an old system, try C-backspace-equals :- Write('C'^H'= ', Money) ; .

One can also try C-backspace-minus or -dash, to get something like C.


The Turnpike 4.00 news/mail program, which I used earlier, accepts the #128 character when editing, but denies that it can send it by E-mail - maybe there should be a convention for representing it, perhaps "C=", in news/mail where one wants to distinguish it from "EUR". It sends it to News, and receives it as a byte value 128 = $80; but shows it as a block. Turnpike 6.05 seems content with it.

1999-01-14 : I have a new UK keyboard; it has a Euro symbol engraved in the Alt-Gr position of the "4" key in the top row.

1999-01-24 : Reported that a new US/CA keyboard does not show the Euro symbol; not known what its Ctrl-Alt-4 does with the OS in use.

1999-08-03 : I'm told that Windows NT 4.0 (SP4 & up), US keyboard, only(?) Alt-0128 works - if I've interpreted the message aright.


I am told that ISO-8859-15 is relevant.

"In iso-8859-15, the Euro is character 0xA4 (164 decimal)".

Ian Bell wrote that :- The character code for the Euro is actually 0x20AC in iso-10646 (UTF-8 is an 8bit encoding of the 32bit character set, iso-10646). It gets encoded into three bytes (0xE2, 0x82, 0xAC, or in quoted-printable, =E2=82=AC). In the various Windows character sets it is 0x80 (128). In iso-8859-15 it is 0xA4 (164).

Links for ZIPs of (PDFs of?) ISO/IEC 10646 and others are in ISOTC Freely Available Standards.

Three-Letter Currency Code


The standard with the 3-letter codes for currencies is ISO 4217. See, for example, ISO 4217 Currency names and code elements at ISO.


I asked :- "The (US) $ can be represented as USD, the £ as GBP (or UKP); is there a similar standard for the Euro?"

Roger Barnett replied :- "Yes, EUR (now included in the ISO list of such abbreviations). The EC definition of the Euro symbol (essentially a "C" character with two horizontal lines drawn through it) includes details of the colour codes required to get it to print in the correct day-glow yellow."


Dave Mayall asked :- "Does anyone know the ISO currency code for the Euro?"

Richard G replied :- "The International Standards Organisation (ISO) adopted the currency code 'EUR' for the euro on 21 April 1997 with immediate effect.
The euro character allocation to code U+20AC was accepted by the Unicode Technical Committee on 29 May 1997 and is awaiting ISO confirmation. Source." (FNF)

David Marshall then wrote :- "I should possibly point out that this is different to the "European Currency" symbol found at U+20A0 which will remain in use for the ECU."
I've since heard that U+20A0 was added by accident, and should not be used.

Dave Mayall then wrote :- "The current ECU is allocated XEU, and other EU currency transactions are denominated in XE* series units."


An official Euro website contained :-
Q : "Is there an official decimal 'delimiter' (fullstop or comma) between euro and cent?"
A : "There is no European rule on this. National rules and practices determine whether they use a fullstop or a comma."

There is thus a possibility of confusion, and a greater one if thousands separators (dot or comma or space) are used, especially in comma-separated lists.

I've seen a suggestion that the Netherlands might use a trailing minus sign for negative amounts.

The Euro Currency

See in Wikipedia etc.

General Financial Programming

It is always important to check, carefully, for any and all applicable rules of calculation, whether from government or business sources.

It is generally unwise to use floating-point variables for accounting-type work, where exact results are expected. Use fixed-point types such as integer, word, or (Delphi) currency.

Euro Currency Conversions, etc.

The use of the Euro in accounting started on 1999-01-01.

There are specific rules about precision and rounding which are mandatory in currency conversions to/from/through the Euro; conversion between two national currencies must go via the Euro - "triangulation". Six-figure rates are mandatory, if I remember correctly. One should seek an authoritative reference for these. If you follow the links on this page, you may be lucky - P O'B's EMU FAQ currently has rates and conversion rules.

From a book, the authority is the "Article 235 Regulation". To convert from one national currency to another, it seems to say :-
  • Convert to euro, using rate to 6 figures
  • Use at least three decimals in the euro figure
  • Convert from euro, using rate to 6 figures
The rates are expressed as 1 euro = 6-fig number of national units; in effect, 1 euro = ddddddE-d national units.

Euro Users and Fixed Conversion Rates

See in Wikipedia.

The rates are not guaranteed, but are probably correct for the 2002 euro-joiners (two newspapers and a FAQ agreed) :-

EU EuroOne Euro =Euro adopted as official currency
AustriaATS13.7603schillings2002-01-01 Tue
BelgiumBEF40.3399francs2002-01-01 Tue
Cyprus (S)CYP0.585274C. pounds2008-01-01 Tue
EstoniaEEK15.6466kroon(s)2011-01-01 Sat
FinlandFIM5.94573markka2002-01-01 Tue
FranceFRF6.55957francs2002-01-01 Tue
GermanyDEM1.95583marks2002-01-01 Tue
GreeceGRD340.750drachmas2002-01-01 Tue
IrelandIEP0.787564punts2002-01-01 Tue
ItalyITL1936.27lire2002-01-01 Tue
LuxembourgLUF40.3399francs2002-01-01 Tue
MaltaMTL0.429300Maltese lira2008-01-01 Tue
NetherlandsNLG2.20371guilders2002-01-01 Tue
PortugalPTE200.482escudos2002-01-01 Tue
SlovakiaSKK30.1260Slovak koruna2009-01-09 Mon
SloveniaSIT239.640tolar2007-01-01 Mon
SpainESP166.386pesetas2002-01-01 Tue
Non-EU Euro :.
Andorra...≤ mid 2004
Kosovo...≤ mid 2004
Mayotte...≤ mid 2004 ?
Monaco...≤ mid 2004
Montenegro...≤ mid 2004
San Marino...≤ mid 2004
St Pierre & Miquelon...≤ mid 2004 ?
Vatican City...≤ mid 2004
EU Non-Euro :.
Czech RepublicCZK.Czech koruna.
LatviaLVL.Latvian lats.
LithuaniaLTL3.4528Lithuanian litasPegged by Dec 2004
RomaniaRON.Romanian leu.
UK, GibraltarGBP.pounds.
Non-EU non-Euro :.
Channel IslandsMKD.Pound SterlingPar with UK
FaeroesDKK.Danish kroner.
GreenlandDKK.Danish kroner.
IcelandISK.Icelandic króna.
Isle of ManGBP.Pound SterlingPar with UK
MacedoniaMKD.Macedonian denar.
NorwayNOK.Norwegian krone.
SerbiaRSD.Serbian dinar.
SwitzerlandCHF.Swiss franc.
TurkeyTRY.Turkish lira.

All EU members should be included, and maybe all Euro users; but not necessarily all European countries.

Other Financial Characters

The Pound

The Pound Sterling symbol, £ = £, is in HTML &pound; or &163; and in Unicode is U+00A3.

The Rouble

From the Sunday Telegraph, 2006-05-28, p.27 :- The Rouble is to have a new character, form not yet determined. Unicode status?



The Euro

Many of these pages date from about 2002 :-

© Dr J R Stockton, near London, UK.
All Rights Reserved.
These pages are tested mainly with Firefox and W3's Tidy.
This site, , is maintained by me.