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Europa Series

The new face of the euro

The new series of euro banknotes is called “Europa” because all its notes contain a portrait of Europa, a figure of Greek mythology and the origin of the name of our continent.

This depiction comes from a vase, over 2,000 years old, which was originally found in southern Italy and now forms part of the Louvre museum collection in Paris. It was selected based on its obvious link to the European continent, while it also adds a human touch to the banknotes. The Eurosystem chose to use the portrait of Europa in the watermark, the hologram and the portrait window of the new euro banknotes.

Introduction of the “Europa” series

The introduction of the second series of euro banknotes, called “Europa”, started in 2013. The first two denominations of the new series, the €5 and €10 banknotes, entered into circulation on 2 May 2013 and 23 September 2014, respectively. The new €20 banknote was officially unveiled on 24 February 2015 and entered into circulation on 25 November 2015.

The remaining denominations of the “Europa” series will be introduced gradually over several years, in ascending order. The exact timing of issuance of these other denominations will be determined and communicated at a later stage.

The banknotes of both series remain in parallel circulation as legal tender. The date when the euro banknotes of the first series will cease to be legal tender will be announced well in advance. However, the banknotes of the first series will always retain their value, and will be exchangeable at any of the National Central Banks of the Eurosystem.

The ECB website dedicated to euro banknotes places particular emphasis on the “Europa” series, providing additional information and downloadable files on the new banknotes and their security features, along with audio-visual materials on the banknotes’ production process. These materials can be used for publication purposes provided that the rules concerning the reproduction of euro banknotes are strictly obeyed.

The design of the new banknotes of the “Europa” series
The euro banknotes of the second series still feature the designs of the first series, themed “Ages and Styles”, and show the same dominant colours. They have only been slightly modified in order to accommodate the enhanced security features and facilitate distinction from the banknotes of the first series.













In addition, the new design takes into account the successive enlargements of the EU since 2002. The Berlin-based independent banknote designer Reinhold Gerstetter was chosen to refresh the design of the euro banknotes.

The new banknotes feature:

  • the flag of the European Union;
  • the name of the currency in the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic alphabets;
  • the revised map of Europe, including Cyprus and Malta;
  • the symbol ©, indicating the copyright of the ECB;
  • the signature of the President of the ECB;
  • the initials of the ECB in nine linguistic variants:


French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish


Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Latvian, Lithuanian, Slovak, Slovene, Swedish






Estonian, Finnish









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