A new series of euro banknotes, the Europa series, has been introduced gradually over several years in ascending order. In this respect the new €5 has been placed in circulation on 2 May 2013, the new €10 on 23 September 2014, the new €20 on 25 November 2015, the new €50 on 4 April 2017 and the new €100 as well as the new €200 banknotes have been placed in circulation on 28 May 2019. The European Central Bank and the national central banks of the euro area have decided to end the production and the issuance of the €500, so it is not included in the Europa series. However, the €500 banknote of the first series will always retain its value.
The new banknotes include new enhanced security features which will offer better protection against counterfeiting. Furthermore, as both the €5 and €10 change hands frequently, the new €5 and €10 have been given a coating to make them more durable.
The new banknotes are called the Europa series because two of their security features contain a portrait of Europa - a figure from Greek mythology and the origin of the name of our continent.
The first series banknotes will initially circulate alongside the new banknotes, but will gradually be withdrawn and eventually cease to be legal tender. The date when this will occur will be announced well in advance. However, the banknotes of the first series will retain their value indefinitely and thus it will be possible to exchange them at euro area national central banks at any time.