On the 25th of November 2015, the euro area will be welcoming the third new banknote from the Europa series: after the €5 and €10 notes comes the €20. This gives us a good opportunity to linger over the recent history of the development of euro banknotes. In The First Euros: the Creation and Issue of the First Euro Banknotes and the Road to the Europa Series, our Museum library’s latest acquisition, the Finn Antti Heinonen describes how the first series came about and the long road to the second series on the basis of his own experience.
As Director of Banknotes at the European Central Bank (1998-2008), he was involved right from the very start in discussions about the euro banknote design, security features, production and circulation. What originally started with the search for compromises over the size and identification of the notes resulted in the successful launch of the euro banknotes in 2002.
It was not always plain sailing for the birth of the first series. Not only was its launch a huge challenge in itself, but sometimes unexpected problems arose too. The author also devotes a lot of attention to the development of the second series of euro banknotes, asking what exactly changed and why? As a privileged witness, Heinonen treats the reader to some highly interesting anecdotes and a glimpse behind the scenes of one of the most unique projects in economic history. You can read all about in this fascinating book! The publication is also available online in Finnish , German  and English .