Re: Euro - re-statement

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Thu Oct 16 1997 - 18:53:41 EDT

Tomas has re-raised the issue of whether U+20A0 should be
used for the Euro sign. And John Jenkins responded with
some of the UTC perspective on this.

To forestall further maunderings about the Unicode
status of the Euro, let me clarify the current status
for the list.

The UTC has discussed and rejected any change of glyph
for U+20A0 EURO-CURRENCY SIGN. That character was included
for compatibility with XCCS (Xerox Coded Character Set),
and has a presumptive semantic of "placeholder for a
possible European currency sign". Some have identified
it with the Ecu, even though no currency sign per se
was ever associated with the Ecu.

The UTC has officially accepted for encoding:


This character has the glyph designated by the European
Commission for the Euro currency (note, *not* the Ecu),
and the character has the semantic "symbol for the Euro currency".

>From the ISO perspective, WG2 has *already* accepted
U+20AC EURO SIGN for inclusion in 10646. To wit:

RESOLUTION M33.23 (Euro sign): Unanimous
WG2 accepts the character EURO SIGN, and its shape to be
encoded in position 20AC in the BMP, in accordance with
document N 1566.

  -- Resolutions of WG2 meeting 33, Heraklion, Crete,
     Greece; 1997-06-30/07-04

Of course, ISO must still go through the balloting
process, but unanimous agreement at the WG2 level almost
guarantees eventual publication of this encoding for
the EURO SIGN in an amendment to 10646.

Furthermore, given the agreement between UTC and WG2
regarding the encoding of the EURO SIGN at U+20AC, many
(not just one) of the member companies of the Unicode
Consortium are *already* implementing the EURO SIGN at
U+20AC, in anticipation of 1998 deadlines for software development
which must support the EURO SIGN.

All of this is specifically addressed at the Unicode/10646
side of the EURO discussion, where for all but the
final publication, the U+20AC EURO SIGN encoding is now
a closed issue.

What to do about 8-bit encodings is altogether a separate

--Ken Whistler
  Technical Director, Unicode, Inc.

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