Thursday

22nd Oct 2020

ECB unveils new €5 note

  • Europa: 'Nobility, divinity, beauty and love stood at the cradle of our continent, but also violence' (Photo: ecb.int)

The European Central Bank (ECB) launched a new €5 note on Thursday (10 January) with a topical joke on the crisis and British euroscepticism.

The note features a watermark and a hologram of Europa - a Phoenician princess who lent her name to Europe and whose portrait was taken from a 2,400-year-old wine jug in The Louvre museum in Paris.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

ECB chief Mario Draghi signed a model of the bill at the unveiling ceremony in the archaeological museum in Frankfurt.

He said: "Over the years, euro banknotes have become the most visible symbol of European integration."

He added: "Despite the challenges facing the euro area ... I am confident that 2013 will bring about a deepening of economic and monetary union and will strengthen European integration."

His host, museum director Egon Warmes, noted that Emperor Charlemagne in the year 794 AD in Frankfurt launched the denarius - a silver coin that was used "from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the River Elbe in the east and from the northern seas to central Italy" and which was "the first, the primary euro."

He said King Offa in England also minted denarii, which he called pennies and which remained valid for 400 years.

With today's UK rejecting the euro and talking of leaving the EU, Warmes joked: "Thus, President Draghi, if you want to save the euro for more than 400 years, bring it to Britain."

The first Europa notes will arrive in banks and shops in May.

The ECB will print new versions of €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500 notes in the "next few" years. The old ones will circulate alongside, but will "eventually cease to be legal tender" on a date to be announced "well in advance."

In Greek mythology, the god Zeus fell in love with Europa and then kidnapped and raped her.

"You see - nobility, divinity, beauty and love stood at the cradle of our continent, but also violence," Warmes said.

Draghi opted for a cleaner version of the story, however.

"Let me thank you Professor Warmes for your kind words - you said that nobility, divinity, beauty and love [are] all to be found in our beautiful continent," he said.

Worst of euro crisis over, says German minister

Confident that France will "fulfil its obligations" and with Greece off the hook for now, Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schauble has cast a glimmer of hope for 2013.

New €5 note launched

ECB director Draghi handed out signed copies of the new €5 bank note on Thursday to a group of "euro children" who have grown up knowing only the euro.

Germany asks capitals to give a little in EU budget impasse

European Parliament negotiators are demanding €39bn in new funding for EU programmes such as Horizon research and Erasmus, in talks with the German EU presidency on the budget. Meanwhile, rule-of-law enforcement negotiations have only just begun.

EU budget talks suspended in fight for new funds

MEPs are requesting additional, new funding of €39bn for 15 EU programs. The German presidency argues that budget ceilings, agreed by EU leaders at a marathon summit in July, will be impossible to change without a new leaders' meeting.

News in Brief

  1. Commission to press Croatia on migrant 'abuse' at border
  2. Belarus opposition awarded 2020 Sakharov Prize
  3. Belgium's foreign minister in intensive care for Covid-19
  4. MEPs restrict CAP funding for bullfighting
  5. Coronavirus: Liège is 'the Lombardy of the second wave'
  6. UK to keep out EU nationals with criminal past
  7. Report: EU to restrict travel from Canada, Tunisia, Georgia
  8. Pope Francis supports same-sex civil unions

EU countries stuck on rule of law-budget link

Divisions among EU governments remain between those who want to suspend EU funds if rule of law is not respected, and those who want to narrow down conditionality.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersUN Secretary General to meet with Nordic Council on COVID-19
  3. UNESDAWell-designed Deposit Return Schemes can help reach Single-Use Plastics Directive targets
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  6. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity

Latest News

  1. Nato and EU silent on Turkey, despite Armenia's appeal
  2. EU tells UK to decide on Brexit as deal 'within reach'
  3. EU farming deal attacked by Green groups
  4. France vows tough retaliation for teacher's murder
  5. All eyes on EU court for decision on religious slaughter
  6. 'Big majority' of citizens want EU funds linked to rule of law
  7. EU declares war on Malta and Cyprus passport sales
  8. EU Commission's Libya stance undercut by internal report

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us