Issuing euro banknotes and coins is a main responsibility within the context of the single currency. The European Central Bank ECB) plays a crucial role, without being the only player. We notice that there are some differences in the treatment of euro banknotes and coins.
Within economic and monetary union (EMU), we look at the current EC (EU) treaty rules on euro banknotes and coins, in the chapter on monetary policy.
Article 106 (ex Article 105a) of the Treaty Establishing the European Community (TEC) consists of two paragraphs. In the first paragraph, the European Central Bank (ECB) is given a monopoly right to authorise the issue of euro banknotes. In the second paragraph, member states are offered the opportunity to issue euro coins, subject to the approval of the ECB.
The wording is from the latest consolidated version of the treaties ─ TEU and TEC ─ in force, more precisely the Treaty establishing the European Community (OJ 29.12.2006 C 321 E/88):
Part Three – Community policies
Title VII – Economic and monetary policy
Chapter 2 – Monetary policy
Article 106 TEC
1. The ECB shall have the exclusive right to authorise the issue of banknotes within the Community. The ECB and the national central banks may issue such notes. The banknotes issued by the ECB and the national central banks shall be the only such notes to have the status of legal tender within the Community.
2. Member States may issue coins subject to approval by the ECB of the volume of the issue. The Council may, acting in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 252 and after consulting the ECB, adopt measures to harmonise the denominations and technical specifications of all coins intended for circulation to the extent necessary to permit their smooth circulation within the Community.
The next posts are going to present some reading suggestions for students of history, politics, economics and law, as well as for other interested EU citizens, and to look more closely at the legal framework of the euro currency.