What is the eurozone?
It's an economic region made up of all the countries in the European Union that use the euro as their national currency and sole legal tender. Officially called the euro area, the eurozone came into being in 1999 and is now one of the largest economic regions in the world with 19 member countries, as of January 2017.
Where have you heard about the eurozone?
In recent years every time the eurozone has made the headlines it seems to be accompanied by the word crisis. In 2010, following the US financial crash and amid a slowing global economy, several countries in the eurozone were unable to repay their government debt and had to rely on a series of bailouts.
What you need to know about the eurozone.
The idea of the eurozone was to make trade between its member countries more efficient by removing the need for currency conversions. This, along with the principles of free movement afforded to members of the European Union, could create an integrated and more competitive European economy that could match the economic and political power of larger countries.
Not all 28 European Union member countries have adopted the euro. Some countries, like the United Kingdom, have opted out of the euro because they don't want to transfer control of their monetary policy to the European Central Bank (ECB). Other countries, like Romania, don't yet qualify for membership as they have to meet certain requirements, like having a debt-to-GDP ratio of less than 60%, before they can adopt the euro.
Find out more about the eurozone.
Find out more about the euro and the role that the European Central Bank (ECB) plays in setting the monetary policies for eurozone countries.