Tag: Europe

Europe Day, 6 May 2017

This Saturday 6th May, the European quarter will be celebrated. On the occasion of the Europe day, the EU institutions in Brussels open their doors to the public. Many activities are organized, such as various debates and guided tours inside the buildings. Don’t miss the opening of the House of European History, and contemplate the […]

Belgium’s founding fathers of €urope

Since 1 January 2002, Belgium has been using a common currency now shared by eighteen other countries: the euro. The historical event marked by that date is an integral part of the history of European integration. It is thanks to the will of a few forward-looking statesmen from different countries with visions of peace and unity that the idea of a European Union could be taken forward to actually become a reality and ultimately lead to the single currency. In this month’s “Spotlight”, we take a closer look at Belgian figureheads who have played key roles – to a greater or lesser extent – in both the process of European integration and the establishment of the euro.

10 answers on the economic crisis in Europe: new publication from the European Commission.

This teaching booklet, designed for 17 year olds and more, tackles some often complex economic concepts in ten questions.

When Milda joins Europe

(Nederlands) 2014 wordt een memorabel jaar voor de Eurozone. Om te beginnen is het op 1 januari vijftien jaar geleden dat de euro giraal werd geïntroduceerd en twaalf jaar dat de munten en biljetten bestaan. Dit getal is symbolisch belangrijk omdat het ook om het aantal sterren gaat die afgebeeld zijn op de Europese vlag. Maar het belangrijkste getal is 18. De Eurozone verwelkomt immers zijn achttiende lidstaat: Letland.

New series of banknotes based on European mythology

On 2 May 2013, a new 5 euro note will be placed in circulation. This will be the first stage in the issuing of the “Europa” series.

Belgian gold in foreign hands

During the second half of the 1930s a growing threat of war was clearly felt. Hitler had come to power in 1933 and on the international level tension was building up. Belgium felt compelled to transfer most of its stocks of gold and other valuables abroad for safe keeping .

Nový člen eurozóny (a new Euro country)

How many Euro countries are there? Twenty-seven? No, although the European Union has 27 member states since 1 January 2007, the Euro area is not that large. Twelve? Almost, that was the correct answer in 2002. Fifteen then? Until a short while ago this was correct, but we are now in 2009 and that’s the year that the Euro area welcomes its sixteenth member: Slovakia. High time to discover the newest series of Euro coins.

The cradle of the European banknote stood in … Sweden

In 1654 Christina, the young Swedish queen, caused upheaval when she abdicated and became a convert to the Roman-Catholic faith. Her extravagancy and the recently ended Thirty years’ war (1618-1648) had left her country with enormous debts. To make financial matters worse, her successor and cousin, Charles X Gustavus, continued warfare with Poland and Denmark. These lasting conflicts were a serious threat to the economy and caused a depreciation of the copper plate money or kopparplätmynt.

The money changer’s bench

One may wonder why the Museum of the National Bank of Belgium placed a wooden table right in the centre of the main exhibition hall where the history of money is told. The answer is quite simple, the bench belonged to a money changer. The owner of the bench did not only change money, as his profession might suggest, he also acted as a banker. Money changers found their way to the cities of the Low Countries in the Late Middle Ages. If you only think about the enormous variety of coins in circulation, it becomes quite obvious money changers played an important role in the economic life of a medieval citizen.

A Nazi Counterfeit in the National Bank

The object we present you this month is a note you would not expect in the National Bank. It is indeed the only false note in the Museum’s showcases. To understand its presence, we have to dig into Europe’s past, in the history of World War II to be precise. This note is part of one of the most important forgeries ever set up and this counterfeiting was engineered by Nazi Germany.