€2 commemorative coins
Legal tender throughout the euro area
Each country that uses the euro as its official currency may issue two commemorative coins per year. These coins have the same features, properties and common side as normal €2 coins. What makes them different is the commemorative design on their national side. Only the €2 denomination can be used for commemorative coins.
€2 commemorative coins are legal tender throughout the euro area. That means they can be used – and must be accepted – just like any other euro coins.
Most of the coins commemorate anniversaries of historical events or draw attention to current events of cultural importance. For example, the very first €2 commemorative coin was issued by Greece to celebrate the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.
While the ECB is responsible for approving the maximum volume of coins each country may issue, including commemorative coins, their design and issuance remain a national competence.
Coins issued jointly by all euro area countries
Five commemorative coins have been issued jointly:
- in March 2007, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome;
- in January 2009, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Economic and Monetary Union;
- in January 2012, to commemorate ten years of euro banknotes and coins;
- in August 2015, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the EU flag;
- and, in July 2022, to commemorate the 35 years of the Erasmus Programme.
As a rule, each country may issue only two €2 commemorative coins per year. Exceptionally, a third coin may be issued, provided it is issued jointly by all euro area countries and commemorates an event of Europe-wide importance.
These jointly-issued coins have a common design on the national side as well as the name of the issuing country and the event commemorated in the respective national language or languages.
Website updates of €2 commemorative coins
Unlike banknotes, euro coins are a national competence and not a competence of the ECB.
If a country intends to issue a €2 commemorative coin, it must inform the European Commission, but it does not have to report to the ECB. The Commission publishes the relevant information in the Official Journal of the EU (C series).
The Official Journal is the authoritative multilingual source upon which the ECB bases updates to its website pages on euro coins. The reporting process, translation into 23 languages and publishing can take some time. Therefore, please be aware that the coin pages on the ECB’s website may not always be fully up to date.