The National Euro Changeover Plan, adopted by the Government in December 2020, envisages the selection of motifs and their design for the national side of euro coins. The CNB is designated as the institution that will organise the procurement of euro banknotes and coins. In contrast to euro banknotes, which are identical in all euro area member states, euro and cent coins carry the information about the issuing country and display the national motifs of that country on the obverse side. For this reason, the obverse of the coins is also known as the national side of euro and cent coins. Once Croatia adopts the euro as its currency, euro coins issued in Croatia will be in circulation and have an equal value in all euro area countries.
The selection of the motifs is therefore particularly important because the coins with motifs symbolising Croatia will also be used beyond its borders. Taking into account the challenging task of the production of coins, preparatory activities have already been started.
At the meeting held on 23 June, the CNB’s Currency Committee reviewed the proposals of the Commission for the Selection of Design Proposals for the national side of the Republic of Croatia on euro circulation coins (hereinafter: “Selection Commission”). Each Selection Commission member singled out eight motifs from a broader set of motifs, which were ranked according to the number of votes for the individual motif. Commission members voted for 41 proposals. The nine shortlisted proposals that received the largest number of votes were ranked in the following order: red and white checkers, the map of Croatia, a marten, the Glagolitic alphabet, Dubrovnik, Nikola Tesla, a Dalmatian dog, Homo volans (sketch of a parachute) by Vrančić and King Tomislav.
Rating of the options is open for citizens from 1 to 15 July
The Selection Commission had sent the list with motifs to the Currency Committee, which decided that the first five motifs – red and white checkers, the map of Croatia, a marten, the Glagolitic alphabet and Dubrovnik – were also to be rated by citizens in an online survey on the website euro.hr. Each motif will be rated on a one to five scale (ratings from “do not like at all” to “like the best”). Citizens can also propose an additional motif in accordance with their own opinion about the motif that would best represent Croatia on the national side of euro coins. Public participation in this online survey begins on 1 July and will last until 15 July. At the same time, a structured national survey on a representative sample of a thousand Croatian citizens will be conducted, with the same proposals of motifs and the possibility for the public to propose an additional motif. Public rating results will be published and have an advisory character in the final selection by the Currency Committee.
While considering both the results of the public ratings and citizens' proposals, upon the completion of both processes by the end of July, the Currency Committee will choose at least three motifs for the national side of euro coins. At the same time, the Committee will also decide about the distribution of the motifs on the individual denominations of euro coins.
Based on the selected motifs, the Currency Committee will publish a public/direct call for the design of the national side of euro coins.
Croatia will send the proposal of the national side of euro coins to the European Commission for approval to all members of the euro area.
In order for the required quantity of coins to be ready on time, the production of euro circulation coins with the Croatian national side should begin six months before the adoption of the euro, following the EU Council’s decision to introduce the euro to Croatia.
Criteria for the selection of motifs; how did other euro area member states choose?
The basic selection criteria taken into consideration by the members of the Selection Commission and the Currency Committee include the acceptability of the motif to the general public, regardless of regional affiliation, age, worldview or political affiliation, and the effectiveness of the motif to be a national symbol, i.e. to achieve a high degree of identification in the general public. It is also crucial that the motif represents Croatia, whether through generally accepted symbols, leading figures, cultural or natural sights, inventions or historical events. It is also important for motifs to be recognisable as being Croatian even in an international environment. An additional element is the technical feasibility of the motif on the small dimensions of the coins as well as the fact that the proposed motif is not subject to copyright. Finally, there is also the conversion criterion, that is, the ability of the motif to facilitate the changeover to the new currency, either through the visual or emotional adaptation to the euro.
In the euro area countries, the model of the selection of the national motif and graphic layouts on euro coins was diverse. In some cases, participants in the selection only included expert panels, in others, expert panels and the public, or in some other countries, they were public authorities (the government, the ministry of finance and the central bank). Thus, in Austria, for example, the motif was selected in collaboration with 13 experts and through public consultation, while in Belgium this task was carried out by a panel whose members were highly-ranked officials, experts, experts in numismatics and artists. In France, the selection was opened by a public call for the submission of motifs/designs in which 1,200 proposals were received. A panel chaired by the Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance, together with other panel members, experts in numismatics, artists, Members of Parliament, the French Mint Director, the General Engraver, along with members of professional bodies, selected the individual motifs and design. In Greece, the Minister for the National Economy and the Governor of the Bank of Greece chose the motif for the national side from a set of proposals presented by a special advisory committee and the monetary policy council. In Ireland, the motif was selected by the government. In Lithuania, the design was selected in a tender in which the submission of plaster models for three sets of coins was required, with indications of motifs for the national side. Luxembourg selected the design by agreement between the Government and the Royal Household. In Estonia, an expert panel selected the ten best designs for the national sides. Panel members then participated in a televoting that lasted for a week. Slovakia organised a public tender for the design and, after several commission selections, the public decided about both the motif and the design. In Slovenia, the decision about the motifs and the design on the national side of euro coins, combined with the public opinion and the opinion of expert panels, was taken by the Bank of Slovenia and the Ministry of Finance. The final decision was taken by the Slovenian government based on all proposals.
The number of motifs on euro coins varies from country to country in the euro area. The largest number of countries, ten of them that have adopted the euro as the national currency, have three motifs on their coins. The countries that have decided to display three motifs on coins – Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Finland, Slovakia, Latvia and Monaco – most frequently have one motif on 1 and 2-euro coins, another one on 50, 20 and 10-cent coins and a third one on 5, 2 and 1-cent coins.
An identical motif on all coins is displayed on the national sides of Belgium, Lithuania, Estonia, Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands and Vatican City. By contrast, the countries such as Austria, Italy, Greece, San Marino and Slovenia have different motifs on each of the coins. Only one country, Andorra, displays four motifs on its coins.
COMMISSION FOR THE SELECTION OF DESIGN PROPOSALS FOR THE NATIONAL SIDE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA ON EURO CIRCULATION COINS
The rank order list after the voting of the Commission for the Selection of Design for Croatian euro coins: