On 25 March 2007, all 13 euro-area countries issued a single commemorative 2-euro coin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, the EU’s founding document.
Commemorative coins can be issued once a year. Normally, every euro-area country chooses its own event to be remembered and depicted on the national side of such a coin. But in 2007 the finance ministers of the 13 countries agreed, for the first time, to issue a 2-euro commemorative coin with the same design on both sides – in addition to any other ‘national’ commemorative coins issued in the same year.
The coin shows an open book – the Treaty of Rome – against a background of Michelangelo’s famous paving in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome, where the Treaty was signed in 1957.
The Treaty established the original European Economic Community among its six signatories; that Community has evolved over the decades into today’s 27-member European Union, of which the euro is perhaps the most tangible symbol.
"The European Union has brought us closer together to live in peace, democracy and to share one of the world's highest living standards. The euro is a potent symbol of the EU's ever growing strength and progressive integration," commented Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquín Almunia on the occasion of the special issue.
Commissioner Almunia was one of the three-member panel (along with Pervenche Berès of the European Parliament and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Eurogroup) who selected the design on the basis of a competition run jointly by the European mints.
The basic design is the same in all countries, although the issuing country is identifiable from the translation of the inscriptions ‘Treaty of Rome - 50 years’ and ‘Europe’ and the name of the country, which appears in the lower part of the coin. Like all commemorative euro coins, these 2-euro coins are intended for general use and are now in circulation throughout the euro area.
Almost 90 million of the special coins have been issued, symbolising the importance of the event for the EU. Each participating country issued a different volume of the coins, ranging from 30 million in Germany to 0.4 million in Slovenia.
Three countries in the EU but not yet in the euro area – Cyprus, Hungary and Romania – also issued coins featuring the same basic design in their own currency to mark the occasion.
Total issuing volume: 87 453 000 coins
Official Journal: C65 21.03.2007, p.3