Following years of negotiations involving over a dozen European nations, the Maastricht treaty was signed on February 7, 1992, and established the terms and basic timeline for European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Despite some bumps along the way, such as the exchange rate mechanism (ERM) crisis in September 1992, the monetary union went ahead largely according to schedule. On January 1, 1999, the exchange rates for the countries entering monetary union were irrevocably fixed and their financial markets switched over to the euro. On January 1, 2002, monetary unification of the initial member countries was completed, with the cash and coin of each country replaced with newly issued eurodenominated notes and coins
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