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Teaching school children about the euro

With the countries to participate in the European single currency now decided following the European Council meeting on 2 May 1998, the Commission has published material outlining the role which schools can play in raising awareness of the coming changes and the practical mean...
With the countries to participate in the European single currency now decided following the European Council meeting on 2 May 1998, the Commission has published material outlining the role which schools can play in raising awareness of the coming changes and the practical meaning of the euro.

A group of external experts was set up to help address the information deficit on the euro, which will become an official currency from 1 January 1999 and the currency used everyday from 1 January 2002. This group examined specifically the role that schools could play in addressing this deficit, and, in a report published in January 1998, concluded that schools have a key role to play in educating children about the euro.

They highlighted the fact that information on the euro needs to be taught rather than communicated, and important elements of this include how to count and add in cents and euros, which may be very different units from those which people are used to, to conduct debates on the euro, possibly involving parents, and to ensure the exchange of materials and teaching practices throughout the EU and other educational settings.

In order to ensure that teachers and children have access to relevant information, brochures on the euro providing answers to basic questions have been produced. The Commission's euro Website also contains important information, including:

- The decisions taken on 2 May 1998 on the Member States to participate in the single currency from 1 January 1999, and associated legal texts;
- Visual images of the euro symbol and the euro notes and coins;
- The euro calendar outlining important dates in the introduction of the single currency;
- All the main Community texts and legislation governing the introduction of the euro;
- Graphs displaying the economies of the Member States with regard to the convergence criteria.

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