The ECB and national central banks in the euro area are responsible for ensuring that euro banknotes continue to provide an innovative, secure and efficient payment method. The first euro banknotes were introduced more than 20 years ago, and the second series first went into circulation in 2013. The Eurosystem is working to design a new series of euro banknotes. This is also an opportunity to make them more attractive, identifiable and inclusive for all Europeans.

In early 2022, the ECB hired an independent opinion firm that gathered the responses of a representative sample of citizens from the entire Eurozone on possible topics of interest for the image of the new banknotes, and a group of specialists from different fields (history, natural and social sciences, graphic arts and technology) was created, which submitted a list to the Governing Board of the ECB with the selected topics:

  • Birds: resilient and inspiring
  • European culture
  • European values mirrored in nature
  • The future is yours
  • Hands: together we build Europe
  • Our Europe, ourselves
  • Rivers: the waters of life in Europe

The organisation has launched a survey to let citizens weigh in on the issue of the new series of banknotes until 31 August.

The president of the ECB, Christine Lagarde, invites everyone to take part in the survey, stating: "There is a strong link between our single currency and our shared European identity, and our new series of banknotes should emphasise this. We want Europeans to identify with the design of euro banknotes, which is why they will play an active role in selecting the new theme".

For his part, Fabio Panetta, a member of the Executive Board, added: "We are working on a new series of high-tech banknotes with a view to preventing counterfeiting and reducing environmental impact. We are committed to cash and to ensuring that paying with public money is always an option".