January 2002 saw the euro come into force, the new European currency to replace the currencies in the Eurozone, which then consisted of 12 States of the European Union. The peseta with which the MONDRAGON Experience had started its development was now consigned to history.
The name euro had been officially adopted on 16th December 1995; it was introduced into the world financial markets, as a unit of account on 1st January 1999, replacing the previous European Currency Unit (ECU). The notes and coins came into circulation on 1st January. As a reminder and for accounting purposes: the exchange rate with the peseta had been set at 166.386 pesetas per euro. At the end of December, the members of the Lagun Aro mutual benefit organisation totalled 27,202 people, divided among 116 co-operatives, with a net annual increase of 1,252 people. During the year, €48.4 had been paid out in pensions due to Retirement, Widowhood and Invalidity, and there were a total of 6,167 pensioners at the end of year. All these benefits were guaranteed by an Equity Fund, which at the end of the year totalled €2.55bn.