Consultation of European citizens on the design of future euro banknotes
- July 10, 2023
The European Central Bank (ECB) invites Europeans to give their opinion on the proposed themes for the next series of euro banknotes. From July 10 to August 31, 2023, all residents of the eurozone have the opportunity to participate in a survey (survey link, click here) on the ECB’s website. To ensure a fair representation of opinions across the eurozone, the ECB has also commissioned an independent research firm to ask the same questions to a representative sample of eurozone residents.
The President of the ECB, Christine Lagarde, encourages everyone to participate in this survey. According to her, “There is a strong link between our single currency and our shared European identity, which our new series of banknotes should highlight. We want Europeans to identify with the design of the euro banknotes. That’s why they will play an active role in selecting the new theme.”
Designing our future euro banknotes
It is indeed the responsibility of the ECB and the national central banks of the euro area countries to ensure that euro banknotes remain an innovative, secure and efficient means of payment. The development of new series of banknotes is a common practice for all central banks.
In a world where reproduction techniques continue to evolve and counterfeiters can easily access information and various materials, it is necessary to regularly introduce new banknotes into circulation.
Beyond security concerns, the ECB aims to reduce the environmental footprint of euro banknotes throughout their life cycle. It also aims to make them more evocative and inclusive for Europeans of all ages and backgrounds, including vulnerable groups such as visually impaired individuals.
Laboratory experiment for low-value banknote (ECB brochure “10 years of the euro”)
Pre-selected themes for future banknotes
Here are the seven pre-selected themes by the ECB Governing Council:
1/ Rivers: the rivers of life in Europe
The rivers that flow through Europe cross borders. They connect us to others as well as to nature. They symbolize the fluctuations of a dynamic and ever-changing continent. They nourish us and remind us of the deep sources of our shared life. It is therefore up to us to nourish them in return.
2/ European Culture
In Europe, the richness of heritage and the dynamism of the culture and creative sectors consolidate the European identity, forging a shared sense of belonging. Culture promotes common values, inclusion, and dialogue in Europe and around the world. It brings people together.
3/ The future belongs to you
The ideas and innovations that will shape Europe’s future reside in every European. The images designed for this theme represent those who carry the collective imagination from which individuals will create this common future. This theme symbolizes the infinite potential of Europeans.
4/ Reflecting European values in nature
Europe is a living space, but also a concept. Similarly, the European Union is an organization, but also a set of values. The theme highlights the role of European values (respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, and respect for human rights) as pillars of Europe and links these values to our respect for nature and the preservation of the environment.
5/ Birds: free, resilient, and inspiring
Birds know no boundaries and symbolize freedom of movement. Their nests remind us of our own desire to build places and societies that care for the future and protect it. They remind us that we share our continent with all forms of life that sustain our common existence.
6/ Hands: building Europe together
Each pair of hands is unique. It is through the strength of hands that Europe, its physical infrastructure, artistic heritage, and achievements have been built. With our hands, we build, weave, heal, teach, and establish connections. Hands also guide us. Hands tell stories of labor, ages, relationships, heritage, history, and culture. This theme celebrates the hands that have built Europe and continue to do so every day.
7/ Our Europe and ourselves
We grow as individuals, but also as members of a community, through our reciprocal bonds. We have our own stories and identities, but as Europeans, we also share a common identity. This theme evokes the freedom, values, and openness of the peoples in Europe.
This pre-selection takes into account the suggestions of a multidisciplinary advisory group, whose members come from all countries in the euro area.
Euro banknote specimen – ES1 series – 2002
(with a vignette representing the explorer Amundsen in 3/4 view)
Planned schedule for new graphics
The ECB will rely on the results of the surveys conducted to select the theme for the next series of banknotes by 2024. A graphic design competition will then be organized. Europeans will once again have the opportunity to express their preferences regarding the proposed graphics that emerge from this competition. The ECB is expected to make a decision on the future design and the timelines for the production and issuance of the new banknotes in 2026.
The first series of banknotes circulated from 2002 to 2013, a period of 11 years.
Starting in 2013, each denomination has been replaced at intervals of 1 to 2 years, on average. The second series ES2 with the Europe motif will circulate from 2013 to 2029 (at a minimum), a period of 16 years.
Sources: ECB and NUMISMAG