EU citizens and residents have now selected the winning design of the new commemorative euro coin celebrating 10 years of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the creation of the euro.
Commemorative coins bearing this design will be issued by all euro-area Member States, starting in January 2009.
The design symbolises that the euro is the latest step in the long history of trade, from pre-historic barter – evoked by the deliberately primitive design – to Economic and Monetary Union.
The vote on the coin design
Voting was open to all citizens or residents of the European Union and took place between 31 January and 22 February 2008. Voters could choose between 5 designs pre-selected by European Mint Directors. 141 675 participated in the vote. The winning design received 41.48% of the votes.
The winning design was created by Mr George Stamatopoulos who is a sculptor at the Bank of Greece. Commemorative coins bearing this design will be issued by all euro-area Member States, starting in January 2009.
Congratulations to our prizewinner
On 14 March, Joaquín Almunia, Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, met with the prize winner Michal Milewski.
The winner was drawn at random from the list of the participants who voted for the winning design. Mr Milewski, a 25 year old assistant engineer and former Socrates – Erasmus student from Ciechanów, Poland, was invited to Brussels to receive his prize from Mr Almunia.
The prize, a set of euro collector coins, reflects both the aesthetic and practical aspects of the euro as the single currency of currently 15 Member States of the EU.
"I'll probably bring back to Poland the first euro coin!", said Mr Milewski in thanking Mr Almunia.
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This is the second time that all euro-area countries issue a euro coin with a common design also on the national side, the first time being the issue of the commemorative 2-euro coin celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome in 2007.
Commemorative coins always have a value of 2 euro and are destined for circulation in the whole euro area, although they are often the subject of keen interest from coin collectors.