Why was a new series of euro banknotes introduced in 2013?

The new series of banknotes were introduced in order to incorporate the technological advancements in security features as well as improvements made in existing features. The quality and durability of the banknotes have been improved, thus strengthening public confidence in the currency. The new series thus reinforces protection against counterfeiting.

This new series is called the “Europa” series as the banknotes feature a watermark and hologram depicting a portrait of "Europa". In Greek mythology, Europa was the daughter of a Phoenician king. She was seduced by the god Zeus, who appeared in the shape of a bull and carried her away to Crete. The story inspired the ancient Greeks to use “Europe” as a geographical term. It was therefore decided to use the portrait of Europa because it has an obvious link to the continent of Europe. It also adds a human touch to the banknotes.

Since the denominations from the new series of banknotes are being introduced one by one, it will take several years before all denominations have been put into circulation.

The date when the first series ceases to be legal tender will be announced well in advance; however, the first series of banknotes will be exchangeable for an indefinite period of time at the Eurosystem NCBs.