Europa series of euro banknotes

The new €20

Front of the new €20 banknote Back of the new €20 banknote

Key dates for the new €20

6 February 2015:
Eurosystem seminar for banknote equipment manufacturers and suppliers is held at the Banca d’Italia in Rome.
24 February 2015:
The new €20 is unveiled at the ECB in Frankfurt.
October 2015:
Leaflets on the new €20 are sent to 3 million euro area points of sale.
25 November 2015:
The new €20 is issued across the euro area.

On 24 February 2015 Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, unveiled the new €20. This new banknote will start circulating on 25 November 2015. It is the third banknote of the Europa series to be launched after the new €5 and €10. 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. Press releases

Press kit on the new €20 banknote: Key dates for the new €20:

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. To raise awareness the security features of the new €20, an online competition called "Tetris® new €20" is being held from 5 February until 31 March 2015. In October 2015, the Eurosystem will distribute information materials on the Europa series and specifically on the €20 to professional cash handlers working in over 3 million shops and banks in the euro area.

The Eurosystem is aware of the problems encountered in some countries following the introduction of the new banknotes. While it has taken several measures to further support the adaptation of banknote handling machines, notably by making them available to the industry well ahead of the launch and intensifying the cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, it is the owners of the machines who are ultimately responsible for updating them so that they can process the new banknotes. In addition to these measures and as part of the Eurosystem Partnership Programme, the Eurosystem will hold a large number of seminars and bilateral meetings with industry stakeholders in the run-up to the launch, with a view to ensuring that they receive the necessary information in good time. 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 adapted to recognise the new banknotes. Of course, the new banknotes can also be easily checked using the simple "FEEL, LOOK and TILT" method, as with the first series of euro banknotes.

Launching the Europa series

The Europa series

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.

Same denominations

The new banknotes are being introduced gradually over several years, in ascending order, so the €5, €10 and €20 will be followed by the €50, then the €100, etc. The denominations remain unchanged: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500.

Timing of issuance

The exact timing of the issuance of the remaining denominations will be determined and communicated to the public and cash handlers at a later stage.

Advanced security features

The new series includes new and enhanced security features which offer better protection against counterfeiting.

Design evolution

The new banknotes represent an evolution. They 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.

Designs for the visually impaired

As with the first series of banknotes, visually impaired users were consulted during the design phase of the Europa series, which led to the inclusion of specific features in the final designs.


The first two denominations of the Europa series to be issued were the €5 and €10 banknotes. As both denominations change hands frequently since they are often used for change, they have a thin protective coating to make them more durable. This means that the banknotes will need to be replaced less frequently, thereby reducing the cost and the impact on the environment.

Parallel circulation of banknotes of the first series and of the Europa series

The first series of euro banknotes will continue to be issued alongside the Europa series of notes until the remaining stocks have been used up. They will then be gradually phased out.

Banknotes of the first series will always retain their value

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.