The Governing Council of the European Central Bank said it has selected “European culture” and “Rivers and birds” as the possible themes to choose from for future euro banknotes.
This follows surveys conducted during the summer for the European public to express their preferences from seven shortlisted themes.
In the survey commissioned by the ECB, “European culture” was most popular (21%) amongst euro area citizens, followed by “Rivers: the waters of life in Europe” (18%) and “Birds: free, resilient, inspiring” (17%).
The survey comprised a representative sample of 23,377 Europeans.
The ECB also conducted the same survey online during July and August and attracted a record number of more than 365,000 responses from Europeans.
The results of the online survey complemented the findings of the representative survey and the same three themes were preferred, but in a different order.
To reflect the public’s preferences as broadly as possible, the ECB decided to combine the rivers and birds themes into a single nature-related theme.
The ECB is expected to decide on the final designs, and when to produce and issue the new banknotes, in 2026.
Once a decision to produce new banknotes has been taken, it will still be several years before the first banknotes are issued.
“We are very happy with the strong participation in our online survey,” ECB President Christine Lagarde said.
“Both of the chosen themes share a common thread of connecting Europe and Europeans, and this is very much in keeping with our goal of making banknotes more relatable to people of all ages and backgrounds,” she added.