EU residents asked for input on new euro note designs
Europeans have been invited to give their feedback on themes for the new euro banknotes, which are expected to enter circulation by 2029.
The first euro notes were introduced in early 2002. They have since been revamped to make them more hygienic and resistant to wear and tear, but the design, which depicts non-existent architectural structures, has remained unchanged. The European Central Bank (ECB) is now working on a completely new design, it announced on Monday.
"After 20 years, it is time to adapt the look of our banknotes to ensure that Europeans of all ages and backgrounds better recognise them," said ECB president Christine Lagarde.
"There is a strong link between our single currency and our shared European identity, and our new series of banknotes should emphasise this."
Lagarde explained that the ECB wanted European citizens to identify with the design of the euro banknotes, which is why it is inviting residents in all member states to participate.
An advisory group has drawn up a list of seven possible themes: birds symbolising freedom of movement; Europe's cultural heritage; Europe's values (human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights) reflected in nature; ideas and innovation determining Europe's future; hands connecting people; and Europe's rivers.
Residents can fill in a survey on the themes until 31 August. An independent research company will ask the same questions to a representative sample of people in the euro area to "ensure opinions from across the euro area are equally represented".
Based on the results of the surveys, the ECB will select the theme for the next generation of banknotes by 2024. This will be followed by a design competition in which citizens will again be asked for their opinion on the submitted designs. A final decision on the design is expected in 2026.
This new series of "high-tech banknotes" will be more difficult to counterfeit and have a lower environmental impact, while ensuring that cash payments remain possible.
ECB president Christine Lagarde gives her signature to be printed on euro banknotes in 2019 © PHOTO Daniel ROLAND / AFP