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Euro banknotes are set for their first full redesign in 20 years

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FILE - Euro coins and banknotes are pictured in a shop in Duisburg, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2001.
FILE - Euro coins and banknotes are pictured in a shop in Duisburg, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2001.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File
By Euronews

The European Central Bank (ECB) will select a new design for euro banknotes by 2024.

The eurozone currency was first introduced in 1999, with coins and banknotes being launched in 2002.

"After 20 years, it’s time to review the look of our banknotes to make them more relatable to Europeans of all ages and backgrounds," ECB President Christine Lagarde said in a statement.

"They are a tangible and visible symbol that we stand together in Europe, particularly in times of crisis, and there is still a strong demand for them".

The banknotes are currently based on "an 'ages and styles' theme, represented by windows, doorways and bridges," the ECB said.

The Frankfurt-based bank will create focus groups to gather opinions from people across the euro area on possible themes for future banknotes.

An advisory group with one expert from each eurozone country will then submit a shortlist of new themes. The experts come from fields such as history, natural and social sciences, the visual arts, and technology.

Final euro design issued by 2024

The bank will then call on the public for their input on the shortlisted themes. A design competition will follow before the public is consulted once again.

The ECB's governing council will make a final decision before the new banknotes are issued by 2024.

"We want to develop euro banknotes that European citizens can identify with and will be proud to use as their money," said ECB Executive Board member Fabio Panetta in a statement.

"The process to redesign the euro banknotes will run in parallel with our investigation on a digital euro. Both projects aim to fulfil our mandate of providing safe and secure money to Europeans".

A spokeswoman told Euronews this was the first full redesign of Euro banknotes in two decades.

"Since the launch of the euro banknotes, this is the first time that we are launching the process to redesign the themes and the design of the euro banknotes," she said.

"Previously, with the Europa Series 2, we only refreshed the design to accommodate a range of new and enhanced security features, which will also make it easy to differentiate between the two existing series".

Additional sources • AP