Thursday

7th Jul 2022

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.

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

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.

Rising prices expose lack of coherent EU response

The increasingly sharp debate over the rising cost of living exploded in European Parliament, with lawmakers from all stripes, liberal, left, green and conservative, calling on the EU to act.

News in Brief

  1. Report: British PM Johnson to resign today
  2. British PM defiant amid spate of resignations
  3. France says EU fiscal discipline rules 'obsolete'
  4. Russia claims untouchable status due to nuclear arsenal
  5. Catalan MEPs lose EU court case over recognition
  6. 39 arrested in migrant-smuggling dragnet
  7. France to nationalise nuclear operator amid energy crisis
  8. Instant legal challenge after ok for 'green' gas and nuclear

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  4. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  6. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022

Latest News

  1. Is Orban holding out an olive branch to EPP?
  2. EU should freeze all EU funds to Hungary, says study
  3. Legal action looms after MEPs back 'green' nuclear and gas
  4. EU readies for 'complete Russian gas cut-off', von der Leyen says
  5. Rising prices expose lack of coherent EU response
  6. Keeping gas as 'green' in taxonomy vote only helps Russia
  7. 'War on Women' needs forceful response, not glib statements
  8. Greece defends disputed media and migration track record

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us