The European Central Bank (ECB) plans to redesign the euro banknotes, with the collaboration of European citizens, in a process that will foreseeably lead to the adoption of a final decision in 2024, the entity reported on Monday.

“After 20 years, it is time to update the appearance of our banknotes so that Europeans of all ages and origins can identify with them,” said the president of the institution, Christine Lagarde, who stressed that “euro banknotes are here to stay”as they are a tangible and visible symbol of unity in Europe, especially in times of crisis, and their demand remains intense.

The process of redesigning the euro banknotes will begin with the creation of discussion groups, whose task will be to gather the opinions of citizens from all over the euro area on possible topics for future banknotes.

Subsequently, a advisory group made up of an expert from each country of the euro area will present to the Governing Council of the ECB a list of selected topics. The designs of the current euro banknotes are based on the theme “times and styles”, represented by windows, doors and bridges.

The members of this advisory group have already been appointed by the ECB in accordance with the proposals from the euro area national central banks, and belong to various fields, such as history, natural and social sciences, visual arts, and technology.

In the case of Spain, the selected representative has been Nuria Oliver, director and co-founder of the ELLIS Alicante Foundation and chief data scientist at DataPop Alliance.

Following the advisory group’s proposals, the ECB will ask the public for their opinion on selected topics. A design competition for the new banknotes will then be called, after which the ECB will once again consult the public and the Governing Council will make the final decision. After completing the design process, the Governing Council will authorize the manufacture of the new euro banknotes and will decide on the possible issuance dates.

Cash continues to ‘send’

The ECB has launched this process following the commitment of its Governing Council to ensure innovative and safe banknotes that connect with Europeans.

The latest study on consumer payment habits in the euro area showed that Cash was still the most popular payment method for in-person retail payments in 2019. Despite the rise in cashless payments during the pandemic, the demand for cash has grown due to its essential role as a store of value.

As part of its cash strategy for 2030, the Eurosystem is taking concrete steps to ensure that this means of payment continues to be available and accepted in the distant future, even after the possible introduction of a digital euro.

“We want to develop euro banknotes that European citizens can identify with and use with pride as their money,” said Fabio Panetta, member of the Executive Board of the ECB. “The banknote redesign process will go hand in hand with our research on a digital euro“, he added, stressing that” both projects are intended to fulfill the mandate of providing safe money to Europeans. “