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Parliamentary question - E-006243/2011(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

Legally, both the European Central Bank (ECB) and the central banks of the euro area Member States have the right to issue euro banknotes. In practice, only the national central banks physically issue and withdraw euro banknotes. As for euro coins, the legal issuers are the euro area Member States. The Commission coordinates all coin matters at euro area level. Hence, at the moment of issuance, euro banknotes and coins belong to the Eurosystem and euro area Member States respectively. Once issued, euro banknotes/coins belong to the holder of such notes and coins, whose account has been debited accordingly[1]. As regards the seignorage revenues, they are shared among national central banks and the ECB according to a ‘banknote key’ based on the ECB capital subscription key for banknotes. For coins, they are retained by each euro area Member State.