Europa series of euro banknotes
The new €20
On 25 November 2015 the new €20 banknote entered into circulation in the euro area. It is the third banknote of the Europa series and follows the new €5 and €10 notes. The other denominations will be introduced gradually over several years.
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.
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.
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. Given different usage, the remaining denominations of the Europa series, including the new €20 banknote, do not need the protective coating.
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.
Preparing for new banknotes
The ECB makes new banknotes available to the industry well ahead of their launch and cooperates closely with all relevant stakeholders under the Eurosystem Partnership Programme in order to support a smooth transition.
However, it is the owners of banknote equipment who are ultimately responsible for adapting it for the new notes.