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New €20 banknote starts circulating today

25 November 2015
  • New €20 banknote enters into circulation today
  • New note is more resistant to counterfeiting
  • Eurosystem has provided materials to facilitate the adaptation of banknote equipment to the new €20

The new €20, the third in the Europa series, enters into circulation today. It has a refreshed look and more vibrant colours, and includes a new kind of security feature: a “portrait window” near the top of the hologram stripe which becomes transparent when seen against the light. The window reveals a portrait of Europa, a figure from Greek mythology, which is visible on both sides of the note. The same portrait is also visible in the watermark, alongside an emerald number which displays an effect of the light moving up and down when the note is tilted – exactly like in the €5 and €10 of the Europa series.

A video entitled “Discover the new €20 banknote” in 23 European Union languages provides further information on the new note and how to check it. It is one of several cash-related videos available at, which also offers other ways of learning about the banknotes, such as the “Euro Cash Academy”.

The €20 banknotes of the first series will remain legal tender and continue to circulate alongside the new notes, but they will be gradually withdrawn from circulation.

The Eurosystem has supported and encouraged European industry associations, banknote equipment manufacturers and other partners to prepare and adapt their devices in good time so that they can handle the new note. Around 15% of retailers in the euro area use authentication devices.

Today also marks the opening of the online “Euro Run” competition for children aged 9 to 12 living in the euro area. In the competition they “run” through an imaginary landscape, answering simple questions about euro cash and avoiding obstacles and traps. They collect points as they make their way through seven different levels. The top 100 players will receive a new €20 banknote set in a special engraved frame. The competition will remain open until 25 February 2016.

For media queries, please contact Eva Taylor, tel.: +49 69 1344 7162.


European Central Bank

Directorate General Communications

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