The discussion is sensitive, because care must be taken not to exclude anyone.

In full overhaul of the banknotes of the euro zone, the ECB wonders: what images to put there?

To suit all Europeans when it was introduced in 2002, the common currency had, on its seven banknotes, Romanesque or Gothic arches, or even modern architectural elements.

Illustrations which represent the different eras of European history in a symbolic way, and have made it possible to avoid the Member States having to agree on a very limited number of major historical figures.

The specifications of the first euro banknotes also prohibited the use of any symbol of national identity such as portraits of famous people, usually used for national denominations.

But the objective of this new version of the euro is that “Europeans can identify” with their currency.

The designer of the first banknotes, the former graphic designer of the Austrian central bank Robert Kalina, thus estimated in a recent interview with AFP that great composers like Beethoven or Mozart, "who cannot be reduced to a single country", could be a good choice.

6 faces or monuments

Christine Lagarde, patron of the ECB, also ticked a few names.

“We have to find great real Europeans throughout history so that we can recognize each other,” she explained on France Inter on Thursday.

Among the potential candidates, she cited “Leonardo da Vinci obviously, in the most recent Simone Veil clearly”.

The list of future lucky winners will be very limited since there are now only six different denominations, five, ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred and two hundred euros, after the disappearance of the 500 euro denomination.

Emblematic monuments of the continent could also be chosen for the next series, after the opinions received from a group of 19 experts, one per Member State of the euro zone, and from the public.


Euro: 20 years after its introduction, what are the challenges for the single currency?


Euro banknotes will soon change their appearance and you will have your say

  • Christine Lagarde

  • Europe

  • Euro

  • Cash

  • Economy

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