The principal goal of the EMU Union is to establish a single European currency called the Euro, which will officially replace the national currencies of the member EU countries in 2002. On Janaury1, 1999 the transitional phase to introduce the Euro Currency began. The Euro now exists as a banking currency and paper financial transactions and foreign exchange are made in Euros. This transition period will last for three years, at which time Euro notes an coins will enter circulation. On July 1,2002, only Euros will be legal tender for EMU participants, the national currencies of the member countries will cease to exist. The current members of the EMU Union are Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Portugal.