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Next design for euro bank notes expected by 2024

The European Central Bank disclosed Dec. 6 that it expects to select completely new designs for its euro bank notes by 2024. Shown is a current Europa design euro note.

Images courtesy of the European Central Bank.

The European Central Bank disclosed on Dec. 6 that expects to select completely new designs for its euro bank notes by 2024. Based on information provided by the bank, the new euro notes may differ remarkably from the ones they will replace.

The first issue in 2002 and the successor Europa series issued from 2013 to 2019 both endured their fair share of criticism for the bland anonymity of their design, what the European Central Bank calls an “ages and styles” theme. Windows and doorways on one side represent openness and cooperation, and bridges on the back symbolize communication among European nations and the rest of the world.

The criticism stems from the fact the notes show architectural styles from various periods in Europe’s history ranging from classical to modern, but none of the depictions is an actual existing monument or bridge. It is said that, because more countries use the euro than there are euro denominations (€5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and the now discontinued €500 notes) to represent them, fictive designs would leave no country omitted and thereby offended. This policy was broken slightly with the Europa series, with the image of Europa taken from a vase in the Louvre in Paris.

With the euro now the currency of 19 countries and over 340 million people, the bank is taking a different approach. It says it will work with European citizens to make them a part of the design process. It will start with the creation of focus groups, to gather opinions from people across the euro zone on possible themes. A theme advisory group composed of one expert from each euro area country will then submit a short list of the new themes to the European Central Bank’s Governing Council. Members of the advisory group have already been appointed by the ECB, based on proposals from central banks, and are drawn from fields such as history, natural and social sciences, the visual arts and technology.

Following the advisory group’s proposals, the bank will again ask the public for input on the short-listed themes. A design competition will follow, after which the European Central Bank will again consult the public. The Governing Council will make the final decision.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said, “After 20 years, it’s time to review the look of our banknotes to make them more relatable to Europeans of all ages and backgrounds.”

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