Euro coins and banknotes are important symbols of European unity and commitment. For this clear reason, counterfeiting and security were major design considerations for both coins and banknotes. Furthermore, clear rules were adopted on how and when their images can be used in order to protect them from misuse and avoid confusion, while allowing for appropriate use by others when needed. Finally, common rules were adopted to ensure transport of euro cash across borders is easy and safe.
Euro notes and coins are designed to meet a number of technical imperatives. Security features are critical to help detect unauthorised copying. The physical appearance of the currency is pleasing both to the eye and to the touch, with many features to protect against counterfeiting as and to help the visually-impaired.
The copyright on the euro banknotes belongs to the European Central Bank. The national central banks of the Member States of the European Union and the European Central Bank may initiate legal proceedings against anyone infringing the copyright.
Copyright on the design of the common sides of the euro coins belongs to the European Union represented by the Commission. However, the European Commission has assigned each euro area Member State all the Community rights as regards their territory. Member States belonging to the euro area are therefore obliged to enforce the copyright within their territories, while the Commission enforces it outside the euro area and the EU. Either the Commission or individual euro-area countries may initiate legal proceedings if unauthorised reproduction is detected.
Member States of the euro area have authority over copyright issues regarding the national sides of the euro coins, in accordance with their national legislation.
The purpose of the Regulation is to ensure that euro banknotes and coins can be easily and safely transported by road across national borders between Member States that have adopted the euro or are about to do so.
The Commission publishes the CIT information necessary for the running of the CIT business on its website or, according to the type of information, in the Official Journal of the EU.