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10 years of the euro – commemorative coin design to be chosen by the public

European Commission - IP/11/674   06/06/2011

Other available languages: FR DE ES NL IT PT FI EL ET MT SK SL

European Commission - Press release

10 years of the euro – commemorative coin design to be chosen by the public

Brussels, 06 June 2011 - All citizens and residents of the 17 euro-area Member States will be able to vote on the design of a new 2-euro coin via the internet. The new euro coin will be issued by all euro-area Member States at the beginning of 2012 to mark the first 10 years since euro banknotes and coins were introduced and the euro became part of people's daily life. The public will be able to vote between five designs preselected by a professional jury from a competition open to citizens of euro-area countries.

"For the first time ever, the design of a euro coin in general circulation will be chosen by a public web vote on the basis of proposals submitted by citizens from all euro-area countries. This is an opportunity for everyone living in the euro area to help choose the design of their own currency. The winning motif will appear on millions of euro coins that will circulate throughout the euro area from the beginning of 2012." 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. Judging by past experience, it can be expected that Member States will together mint some 90 million pieces of this commemorative coin.

Voters can choose between 5 different coin designs, pre-selected by a professional jury following an open design competition among citizens of all euro-area Member States. A prize of a set of high-value euro collector coins will go to a participant chosen at random from those who voted for the winning design. Voting starts today and will be closed on Friday 24 June 2011. The winning design will be announced on 30 June.

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 and will also be awarded a high-value collector's set of euro coins. He or she will also be invited to be present at one of the mints of the euro area to see the first coin struck.

Background

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 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.

To vote on the coin design, go to:

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

For more information on the euro see:

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

Contacts :

Amadeu Altafaj Tardio (+32 2 295 26 58)

Catherine Bunyan (+32 2 299 65 12)

Pia Seppälä (+32 2 299 24 88)


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