Before the Euro, was the Ecu. It was created in 1979 in preparation for a common European currency. It stood for European Currency Unit. It was renamed the Euro in 1999, after some members objected as the Ecu was also the name of an 18th century French coin. Though there were no circulating national Ecu coins, it was used in international transactions and there were a number of local Ecu denominated coins issued.