Key terms to know about euro | Business | Journal Gazette
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FRANKFURT, Germany – The euro turns 20 on Tuesday. Here are some key terms to know:

Eurozone: The 19 European Union countries that use the euro: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. EU members Britain and Denmark received opt-outs ahead of the currency's creation in 1999.

European Central Bank: The Frankfurt-based ECB took over decisions on monetary policy – such as setting interest rate benchmarks – from national central banks when the euro was launched in 1999. The ECB's governing council includes 25 members.

Stability and Growth Pact: Rules limiting debt and deficits for member countries.

European Commission: The European Union's executive arm, led by President Jean-Claude Juncker. Responsible for enforcing the stability and growth pact limits.

European Stability Mechanism: The eurozone's bailout fund. Can borrow with the backing of member governments and lend – against strict conditions – to countries that can't refinance their debts through the bond market.

Banking union: Consolidation of banking oversight at the European Union level. Undertaken after national supervisors were perceived to have looked the other way on bank problems. A missing piece: deposit insurance at the EU level, resisted by Germany, the eurozone's largest member.

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