For its first launch in January 2002, 7 banknotes and 8 coins were designed. Notes share the same designs across all euro area countries. Coins have a common design on one side, and a country-specific design on the other.
A Europa series of banknotes are being introduced gradually over the years. Under the responsibility of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central banks (NCBs), they include enhanced security features and a new design, containing a portrait of the mythological figure Europa.
The name “the euro” was chosen in 1995 by a European Council meeting in Madrid.
The symbol € is based on the Greek letter epsilon (Є), with the first letter in the word “Europe” and with 2 parallel lines signifying stability.
The ISO code for the euro is EUR. This is used when referring to euro amounts without using the symbol.
Copyrighting the symbol
The European Community, represented by the European Commission, owns the copyright for the euro symbol. However in some cases, the EU Intellectual Property Office (Trademarks and Designs) has agreed to register certain logos which contain the euro symbol. This is when they are sufficiently creative and different from the official euro symbol.
- the name must be the same in all EU languages – “euro”, taking into account the different alphabets. This includes EU legal texts. This is “'ευρώ” in the Greek alphabet and “евро” in Cyrillic
- plural forms are accepted as long as they do not change the “eur-“ root
- other spellings are accepted in non-EU legal texts, such as national law
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