20th Sep 2019

Turkey cut out of new euro coins map

Member states have modified the original version of a new euro coin design - already in circulation - by cutting Turkey off the map aimed at representing larger Europe.

Initially, the European Commission had proposed to change the map of Europe currently seen on the ten-cent to two-euro coins into a larger one going east to the Caspian Sea and including Turkey, the Financial Times wrote on Tuesday (25 September).

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  • The new two-euro coin has a map of Europe going further East, but excludes Turkey (Photo: European Commission)

But while it does go further East and includes part of Russia, the map on the "new" euro does not include Turkey.

Judging it "pointless" to comment on that precise point, the commission did not deny that "the design that has been adopted is not exactly the one the commission has proposed".

"The idea was to have a new design that would be a more stylised design, rather than a true geographical representation of Europe, which admittedly is more difficult to represent on such a small surface", commission spokesperson Amelia Torres said.

But some see the removal of Turkey from the new euro coin as politically motivated.

"The council [the member states' body] has deliberately and secretly wiped Turkey from the new face of the euro", said Marco Cappato and Marco Pannella, Italian Liberal MEPs, in a statement.

"Dictatorships, such as Belarus" do figure on the new euro coins' map, but not "a democratic country like Turkey with whom accession talks are ongoing", they said.

Turkey opened membership negotiations in October 2005, but its possible accession to the EU is a persistently controversial question within the bloc.

Member states such as France are openly opposed to Ankara becoming a full EU member and French president Nicolas Sarkozy recently raised the idea of a debate on where the EU's borders should lie.

The current euro coin shows a map of the EU as it used to be before 12 new countries joined in enlargements in 2004 and 2007.

Consequently, a new design was agreed upon in 2005 "to reflect an enlarged EU" and "to avoid to have to change the design too frequently", the commission said.

The new euro coins are already in circulation in Slovenia – the newest member of the 13-nation euro zone which introduced the currency last January.

From next year, Malta and Cyprus are also expected to get the new-look euro.

In the meantime, old euro zone countries which need to mint new coins are also using the updated design, said Ms Torres.

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