Sunday

26th Mar 2017

EU considers withdrawal of 1 and 2 euro cent coins

  • Soon gone? The two-eurocent coin (Photo: Valentina Pop)

The European Commission on Tuesday (14 May) tabled several scenarios for the withdrawal of the 1 and 2 euro cent coins, with the cost of printing these coins greater than their use.

"The production of 1 and 2 cent coins is clearly a loss-making activity for the euro area with the difference between the face value of the coins and the price paid by the state to get them pointing at an estimated total cumulative loss of €1.4 billion since 2002," the commission said in a press release.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Public opinion about the 1 and 2 euro cent coins is "rather paradoxical", says the commission, referring to various Eurobarometers. On the one hand, people seem attached to these coins and fear inflation should they to disappear. But on the other hand, they do not re-circulate them.

The commission tabled four scenarios on what to do with these coins, based on consultations with business and consumer associations, national treasuries, mints and central banks.

Under the first scenario, the coins would continue to be issued at their current cost, without altering their composition, meaning more financial losses for the eurozone. A second scenario proposes the coins to be kept, but to reduce their issuance cost by changing their composition or by increasing the efficiency of coin production.

Scenarios three and four suggest a quick or a gradual withdrawal of the coins. A quick withdrawal would be the cheapest solution, while a gradual one within 3-4 years would have less negative impact on retailers and consumers as it would give them more time to get rid of the unwanted change.

But the commission warns of inflation fears that may rise with the suppression of these coins, leading to a hike in consumer prices.

The scenarios will now be discussed with member states and the European Parliament before a decision is proposed.

"The commission does not have a preference for any one of the four scenarios at this point in time. Further discussions with all relevant stakeholders are needed on the basis of the four possible scenarios," it said.

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.

SMEs lack support in EU financial plan

The European Commission's plan for a capital markets union is said to be aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, but many could end up being left out in the cold.

Eurozone chief in 'drinks and women' row

[Updated] The Netherlands' Jeroen Dijsselbloem faces calls for resignation after saying that crisis-hit countries in southern Europe spent "money on drinks and women" before being helped by others.

Greek bailout talks to 'intensify'

Greece and its creditors will meet in Brussels later this week to unblock negotiations needed for a new tranche of financial aid, amid concerns over the country's economic situation.

Stolen Russian billions ended up in EU states

Illicit money flowing out of Russia ended up in almost every single EU state, an investigation has found, posing questions on the integrity of Europe’s banking systems.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  2. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  3. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  4. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  5. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  6. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  7. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  9. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  10. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  11. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People
  12. Nordic Council of Ministers25 Nordic Bioeconomy Cases for Sustainable Change