The Europa series €5 started to circulate in the euro area in 2013. The other banknotes in the series will be introduced gradually over several years, in ascending order. The denominations remain unchanged: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500.
On 10 January 2013 Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, unveiled the new €5 banknote at the Archaeological Museum in Frankfurt am Main. The new €5 banknote came into circulation on 2 May 2013. The new €10 will be unveiled on 13 January 2014 and start circulating after the summer of 2014. Press releases
The ECB and the national central banks of the Eurosystem are conducting an information campaign about the Europa series, which includes a dedicated website. The campaign aims to help the public recognise the new notes and their security features. In April 2013, the Eurosystem sent information materials on the new series and specifically on the €5 to professional cash handlers working in over 3 million shops and banks in the euro area. It will be doing the same for the new €10 in 2014.
In addition, the information campaign on the new €10 will include a Eurosystem Partnership Programme to help banknote equipment manufacturers (BEMs) and suppliers on the one hand, and their clients and users on the other, to prepare for the introduction of the new banknotes. There are many advantages in becoming a partner ahead of the issuance of the new €10.
Lists are available on the ECB’s website of banknote authentication devices and handling machines which have been tested by the Eurosystem central banks and been adapted to recognise the new €5 banknotes. Similar lists for the new €10 banknotes will be published in 2014 after the machines and devices have undergone the same testing. Of course, the new €5 can also be easily checked using the simple"FEEL-LOOK-TILT" method, as with the first series of euro banknotes.
The new euro banknotes incorporate enhanced security features that draw on advances in banknote security and technology. The new security features of the Europa series are easy to locate on the banknotes, keep the new notes up to date in terms of image reproduction technology, and ensure that the banknotes remain resistant to counterfeiting.
The security features of the Europa series are easy to check using the "feel, look and tilt" method. No tools are necessary.
LOOK at the banknote against the light. A faint image becomes visible and shows a portrait of Europa, the value of the banknote and a window.
TILT the banknote. The silvery stripe reveals a portrait of Europa – the same one as in the watermark. The stripe also shows a window and the value of the banknote.
TILT the banknote. The shiny number displays an effect of the light that moves up and down. The number also changes colour from emerald green to deep blue.
FEEL the banknote. On the front, there is a series of short raised lines on the left and right edges. The main image, the lettering and the large value numeral also feel thicker.
LOOK at the banknote against the light. The security thread appears as a dark stripe. The € symbol and the value of the banknote can be seen in tiny white lettering in that stripe.
The new banknotes are called the Europa series because two of their security features contain a portrait of Europa – a figure from Greek mythology and the origin of the name of our continent.
The new banknotes are to be introduced gradually over several years, in ascending order, so the €5 will be followed by the €10. The denominations remain unchanged: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500.
The exact timing of the issuance of the other denominations will be determined and communicated to the public and cash handlers at a later stage.
Banknote equipment manufacturers have been involved in the development of the Europa series to allow them to prepare for the introduction of the new banknotes.
The new series includes new and enhanced security features which will offer better protection against counterfeiting.
The new banknotes represent an evolution. They will still feature the "ages and styles" design of the first series and show the same dominant colours, but have been slightly modified to accommodate the enhanced security features. This also makes them easy to distinguish from the first series. An independent banknote designer based in Berlin, Reinhold Gerstetter, was selected to refresh the design of the notes.
As with the first series of banknotes, visually impaired users were consulted during the design phase of the second series, and their requirements were included in the final designs.
The €5 banknote was the first denomination of the Europa series to be launched. As it changes hands frequently and is not always kindly treated, it has been given a coating to make it more durable.
When the new €5 was issued, the first series €5 continued to be issued as well for several months in order to use up remaining stocks. The same will happen for the new €10 and the higher denominations. In any case, for each denomination both series will continue to circulate in parallel as legal tender.
The date when the first series of euro banknotes ceases to be legal tender will be announced well in advance. However, the banknotes of the first series will always retain their value: they can be exchanged for an unlimited period of time at the Eurosystem NCBs.