A EU-wide anti-counterfeiting strategy
Counterfeiting and security were major considerations in the process of the design of coins and banknotes. Overall levels of counterfeiting have been relatively low. However, because each country’s euro notes and coins — with distinctive designs — are legal tender across the euro area, common rules and coordination are needed to ensure that anti-counterfeiting measures are equally effective in all countries.
The European Commission's policy with regard to anti-counterfeiting is based on four pillars: prevention, repression, training and cooperation.
- The EU legislation prevents the euro from being counterfeited through a system of information collection, designated national authorities for analysis, national central offices to coordinate investigations and through authentication measures applied by credit institutions and other cash handlers. The European Technical and Scientific Centre provides the national authorities with technical assistance, training and classifies new types of counterfeit coins.
- Complementary, EU legislation, such as Directive 2014/62/EU seeks to repress euro counterfeiting through criminal law measures. National authorities are responsible for authentication, detection and withdrawal of euro coins unfit for circulation. Common rules and coordination at EU level ensures that national authorities combine their efforts to optimally prevent and suppress the counterfeit of euro coins. This process ensures that euro coins in circulation are genuine and fit.
- The Pericles 2020 programme forms the training pillar by providing funds for staff exchanges, seminars, trainings and studies for law enforcement and judicial authorities, banks and others involved in preventing and combating euro-counterfeiting. DGECFIN works closely together with the European Central Bank (ECB) and Europol in achieving this mission. Cooperation forums such as the Counterfeit Coin Experts Group and the Euro Counterfeit
- Experts Group seek to foster multidisciplinary and multilateral cooperation by bringing together experts in various disciplines from EU countries, the ECB, Europol and Interpol.