Sign up for the monthly zoom events by sending a PM with your email address to Hitesh

Main Menu

Spanish MEP's ask EC to consider to remove living people from euro coins

Started by eurocoin, January 21, 2021, 07:17:57 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Several Spanish members of the European Parliament, amongst which Carles Puigdemont, have asked the European Commission to consider to change legislation so that living persons can no longer be depicted on euro coins. This after the debacle surrounding King Juan Carlos, who is depicted on several euro circulation coins of Spain. In November, the Spanish Supreme Court prosecutor announced a third investigation into King Juan Carlos for possible money laundering activities. The former monarch is already the target of separate investigations for the potential use of illegal credit cards and alleged kickbacks paid to secure a contract for the construction of a train to Mecca. Four months after fleeing to Abu Dhabi, the former king acknowledged the existence of undeclared income by paying 678.000 euros to the Spanish tax agency.

Furthermore the MEP's propose a framework within which member states of the eurozone can object to the national sides of euro coins even after the coins have already been approved and have gone into circulation (for example to prevent further standard circulation coins with that design from being minted).

The European Commission has not yet commented on the proposals of the parliamentarians.


Don't really think that will go anywhere. Agreed, Juan Carlos probably leaves mixed feelings when you see him on a coin these days, but the coins with his effigy were minted back when he was king. In most (or all?) monarchies it is quite normal to have the head of state depicted on the money; that includes those that issue euro coins. I doubt that any EU institution would be interested in changing that. (Of course Spain is free to modify its designs - king Felipe is depicted on two denominations only anyway.)

As for objections regarding coins that have already been issued ... sure, they can be voiced at any time, but that should be about it. There is a procedure anyway that allows member states to comment on planned issues, and these can be modified or canceled then.



Some 2.5 months after the parliamentary questions were asked, the answer of the European Commission had still not been published on the European Parliament website. Yesterday I sent an information request to the European Parliament. It turned out that the questions the 3 Catalan MEP's asked on December 24 had still not been replied to. That, while by law questions of MEP's should be replied to within 6 weeks. I have doubts about whether they would have ever received an answer had an outsider not noticed and enquired about it. Today the European Commission finally replied to their questions. Their answer was not much of a surprise:

Quote from: European CommissionE-007066/2020
Answer given by Mr Gentiloni
on behalf of the European Commission

The choice of the national side of euro coins belongs to the Member State issuing the coin. Euro area Member States may object to designs of national sides as the Council has to give final approval of the design (Article 10 of Regulation No 729/2014). Recital 13 also recalls that the design on the national side of euro coins under approval shall take into account the fact that these coins circulate in the whole euro area and not only in the issuing Member State. While no Member State ever raised objections on the euro coins issued by Spain, the fact that the national side depicts the Head of State is customary in European Monarchies. Following the abdication of King Juan Carlos I in 2014, the portrait on the 1 and 2-euro coins was changed to that of the new King Felipe VI.

The Commission does not envisage proposing any change to those rules.


To me it sounds like an illogical request. I would understand it if was ill advised to make commerorative coins with living people depicted on the coins, but "normal" actual living rulers is certainly OK with me.

That would follow the standard of the US as well, you might have noticed that the president series has stopped for the moment?