The Eurosystem, comprising the European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central banks of the euro area countries, has completed preparations for the introduction of a new €5, the first banknote in the Europa series. The new note will be issued through traditional channels, i.e. via bank counters and automated teller machines (ATMs) across the euro area as of 2 May 2013. The €5 banknotes of the first series will continue to circulate alongside the new banknotes, but they will gradually be withdrawn. The date when they cease to be legal tender will be announced well in advance. Even after this date, they will retain their value indefinitely and will be exchangeable at euro area national central banks at any time.
The Europa series €5 banknote has benefited from advances in banknote technology since the first series was introduced over ten years ago. It includes some new and enhanced security features. The watermark and hologram display a portrait of Europa, a figure from Greek mythology – and hence the name of this series of banknotes. An eye-catching “emerald number” changes colour from emerald green to deep blue and displays an effect of the light that moves up and down. Short raised lines on the left and right edges make it easier to identify the banknote, especially for visually impaired people. All these security features can be found on the front side of the new note and can be readily checked using the “feel, look and tilt” method. It is envisaged that they will be included in all the banknotes of the Europa series.
To raise public awareness of the new banknote, a video entitled “The Euro: Our Money” has been produced. It is available, together with other, more general information on euro banknotes, in 22 languages of the European Union on the ECB’s website and the newfaceoftheeuro website.