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Regulatory Bodies

Euro banknotes safeguarded by...

Legally, both the ECB and the central banks of the euro area countries have the right to issue euro banknotes. In practice, only the national central banks physically issue and withdraw euro banknotes (as well as coins). The ECB does not have a cash office and is not involved in any cash operations. As for euro coins, the legal issuers are the euro area countries. The European Commission coordinates all coin matters at euro area level.

The ECB is responsible for overseeing the activities of the national central banks (NCBs) and for initiating further harmonisation of cash services within the euro area, while the NCBs are responsible for the functioning of their national cash-distribution systems. The NCBs put banknotes and coins into circulation via the banking system and, to a lesser extent, via the retail trade. The ECB cannot perform these operations as it does not have its own technical departments (distribution units, banknote processing units, vaults, etc.).

European Union

European Central Bank

Bank of Greece and 17 more NCB’s

Regulatory Framework and Legislation on Euro Banknotes

Milestone decisions setting the regulatory context

The ECB and the National Central Banks (NCBs) of the Eurosystem, being the issuing authorities for the Euro banknotes are tasked with maintaining public trust in the single currency. This is done, among other things, by ensuring the integrity of the euro banknotes in circulation. For this reason, since Euro was launched on 1 January 1999, becoming the currency of more than 300 million people in Europe, in 17 of the 27 Member States of the European Union, a comprehensive regulatory framework has been constructed, aiming to protect the EU single currency.

Below there is an assortment of milestone decisions setting the regulatory context to-date, with special focus on the authenticity, fitness checking and recirculation of euro banknotes.

List of documents and references

Read more on Euro cash handling…

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3.4 MB

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10 MB

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5.2 MB

Reform via TCR

3.9 MB

Retail Banking
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5.8 MB

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3.3 MB