11 December 2021, by Victoria Séveno

This week, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced plans to select a new design for the euro banknotes by 2024, and citizens from all eurozone nations can submit their ideas for the new designs. 

Euro notes to be redesigned over 20 years after launch

Since the euro was launched at the beginning of 1999, the notes have remained unchanged – and the ECB thinks it’s time to shake things up a bit. “Euro banknotes are here to stay,” says ECB president Christine Lagarde. “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.”

While the launch date of these new notes is yet to be determined, the ECB is ambitious and hopes to have selected the new designs by 2024. “We want to develop euro banknotes that European citizens can identify with and will be proud to use as their money,” says ECB Executive Board member Fabio Panetta.

ECB to include EU citizens in the design process

Redesigning the notes is quite a long process, and will have a number of steps. First, focus groups will be created in order to gather opinions on possible themes for the new notes, before members of an advisory group each submit a shortlist of new themes to the ECB’s Governing Council.

The advisory group is made up of 19 experts from different backgrounds, each one representing a different eurozone nation. Alice Twemlow, a Professor of History, Theory and Sociology of Graphic Design and Visual Culture at the University of Amsterdam, is representing the Netherlands.

The third phase will see the ECB call on the European public to submit their ideas for the shortlisted themes, followed by a design competition for the new banknotes. While the process is designed to ensure EU citizens will be involved in the creation of the new euro, the ECB Governing Council will take the final decision.

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