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IP/11/508

Brussels, 29 April 2011

10 years of the euro – design a commemorative euro coin

On 1 January 2012 it will be ten years since euro banknotes and coins were introduced and the euro became part of daily life for people living in euro area countries. A competition open to all euro-area citizens is being launched today to design the commemorative 2-euro circulation coin that all 17 euro-area Member States will issue to mark the anniversary.

"The euro binds us all together and is an achievement we should be proud of. This design competition for the new commemorative coin is a great opportunity for ordinary people to make their own mark on their currency. The winner's design will appear on millions of euro coins that will circulate throughout the euro area," said Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Over 330 million people in 17 EU countries now share one currency – the euro. A common currency makes many things easier, such as comparing prices between countries, travelling and trade, since fees for exchanging money and exchange rate fluctuations having been eliminated. It also reinforces the need for sound economic and financial policies.

Normally each euro-area Member State issues its own euro coins with a national design on one side. But at the beginning of 2012 all euro members will issue a single commemorative 2-euro circulation coin with a common design to celebrate 10 years of euro banknotes and coins.

Any citizen of the euro area aged 12 or over can enter the competition to design the new coin. It is the first time that the euro area has organised an open design competition on this scale.

Contestants may submit their design via the website below from today, 29 April, until 20 May.

Following pre-selection of the five best designs by a professional jury, the winning design will be selected via a public web vote on the same website over three weeks in June. The winning design will be announced on 30 June 2011.

The creator of the winning design will see his/her design, and initials, on millions of euro coins that will circulate in all euro-area Member States. They will also be awarded a high-value collector's set of euro coins.

To enter the design competition, go to:

http://www.eurocoin-competition.eu/

For more information on the euro see:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/index_en.htm

Euro coins intended for circulation have one side common to all countries and a national side that depicts subjects such as historical figures, symbols or reigning monarchs. Individual Member States may also issue commemorative coins intended for circulation with a specific design to celebrate events of major national or European relevance.

This is the third time that all euro-area Member States have joined together to issue a euro coin with the same shared design on the national side. The first such joint commemorative coin was issued in 2007 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome in 2007 and the second in 2009 to celebrate ten years of Economic and Monetary Union and the creation of the euro as a virtual entity, three years before its appearance in physical form.

Commemorative euro coins always have a value of 2 euro and are intended for circulation in the whole euro area, and they are often the subject of keen interest from coin collectors.


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