Euro banknotes are set to get a new design with themes focused on European culture, birds and rivers in an effort to make them more relatable, the European Central Bank said on Thursday.
Due towards the end of the decade at the earliest, the banknotes are also aimed at reassuring the public that cash is here to stay, even as the ECB works on launching a digital version of its own currency, possibly around the same as it rolls out the new bills.
Banknotes under the culture theme could depict monuments, works of art, literature, music, scientific discoveries and inventions. The nature theme could show rivers crossing borders or depict images of regional birds.
“They both share a common thread of connecting Europeans and this is what Europe and our common currency is all about: connecting us,” ECB President Christine Lagarde said.
A final design could be chosen in 2026 while it could take another several years before they are actually issued into circulation.
The new banknotes will replace the more than two decade old design of windows, gateways and bridges. The changes do not impact coins, which feature national designs.