France has recently come under fire for not conforming with European Commission coin requirements and failing to wait for approval for a new design. This has resulted in the re-minting of 27 million 10, 20 and 50 cent coins.

EU law stipulates that member states are allowed to change the design of the national side of the euro coins every 15 years. Nonetheless, each design needs the final stamp of approval from the Commission as well as other eurozone governments. Under EU law, these governing bodies must be informed, and thus have a seven-day window to object.

In November 2023, Monnaie de Paris, the country’s minting company, mass produced the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins with the infamous new design. Despite so, the stars symbolising the EU flag were deemed as non-compliant with the standard requirements.

France had informally contacted the Commission during production month and subsequently sent a formal approval request. However, minting had already gone ahead without the necessary final confirmation.

Speaking to POLITICO, a French economy ministry official said that the Commission later sent an informal warning about the new design and how this was not according to the rules.

On 12th December the French treasury submitted a correct design which was later approved by the Commission in late December.

The official stated that since the minting company is an autonomous public company, separate from the French Government, it will face the cost of the reminting process.

 “There will be no cost to the French taxpayer, as the company will absorb it in its operating costs,” said the official.

French media outlet La Lettre broke the news first, quoting Monnaie de Paris Head Marc Schwartz, who subsequently blamed Government for the issue.

So far, the new design remains a mystery and shall be unveiled before spring.

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