Andorra and the euro

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Andorra has a monetary agreement with the EU allowing it to make the euro its official currency, and permitting it to issue euro coins as early as 1 July 2013.[1] They planned to issue their first coins by March or April 2014.[2] On 23 December coins were delivered for pre-booked customers at the Government Administration Building, while actual circulation will start on 15 January 2015.[3]


Background[edit]

Andorra did not have an official currency prior to adopting the euro, and unlike its two larger neighbours, France and Spain, which surround it, it is not a member of the EU. However it de facto used the EU's euro (the currency of the Eurozone states) as it had historically used the French franc and Spanish peseta. When those two currencies were replaced by the euro in 2002, the euro replaced the franc and peseta as the sole circulating currency in Andorra.

Three other European microstates outside of the EU, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City, also faced this situation but they, unlike Andorra, concluded agreements with the EU for the right to mint their own euro coins. Euro coins have a common design on one side, and a national-specific side on the other. Hence those three microstates could design their own national side, mint and distribute their own coins. As with coins minted in other eurozone states, the microstate coins are valid across the eurozone; however they do not gain representation on the euro's governing bodies, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Eurogroup.

Currency agreements[edit]

In 2003, Andorra requested the right to mint its own coins and the following year the Council of the European Union adopted its negotiating position with Andorra. Following Andorra's agreement to abide by Council Directive 2003/48/EC on taxation of savings income in the form of interest payments, the Commission recommended opening negotiations.[4] Negotiations were expected to be concluded by 2008,[5][6] but were repeatedly stalled due in part been to poor relations stemming from Andorra's tax haven status. A monetary agreement was eventually agreed to by Andorra and the EU in February 2011,[7] and the agreement was signed on 30 June 2011.[1] After the agreement came into force on 1 April 2012,[8] the euro became Andorra's official currency. Andorra would have been permitted to issue up to 2.4 million euro coins from 1 July 2013 onwards provided that it complied with the agreement's terms.[9][10]

In October 2012, Jordi Cinca, Andorra's Minister of Finance, stated that 1 January 2014 was a more likely date to start issuing euros due to delays in adopting the legislation required by the monetary agreement.[11] In February 2013, the Director of the Mint of Andorra Jordi Puigdemasa confirmed that Andorra would not begin issuing euros until 1 January 2014.[12][13] However, the EU did not approve the minting of the coins until December 2013, thus their release was delayed.[14] Minister of Culture Stephen Albert was optimistic that the coins would be circulating by March or April 2014.[2] By May, with still no euros issued, Cinca said that that they had again been delayed but would be in circulation by the end of 2014. He cited complications from having the minting of the coins being split between the French and Spanish mints, and efforts to ensure that the coins made it into circulation, rather than to collectors, for the delay.[15] In July, the French mint said that the coins had been minted.[16][17] In December 2014 it was reported that the coins would go into circulation by 19 December at the latest.[18]

Design[edit]

A design competition for the national side of the euro coins was launched in March 19, 2013, with a deadline of April 16.[12][19] The winning designs were announced on May 16 and depict a pyrenean chamois on the 1, 2 and 5 cent pieces, the Church of Santa Coloma and a depiction of Christ from the church Sant Martí de la Cortinada on the 10, 20, and 50 cent pieces, and Casa de la Vall on the 1 euro piece. The government had previously decided that the Coat of arms of Andorra would be featured on the 2 euro piece.[20] Final approval of the coins is expected in late June, at which point they will be forwarded to the EU for their consent.[20] In August, a spokesperson for Cinca confirmed that the design of the 10, 20 and 50 cent pieces had been modified to remove the depiction of Christ due to objections from the European Commission on the grounds of religious neutrality.[21][22]

The 2 euro, fifty cent, twenty cent and ten cent coins will be produced by the Monnaie de Paris, while the 1 euro, five cent, two cent and one cent coins will be manufactured at the Royal Mint of Spain.[14]

Mintage quantities[edit]

Face Value [23] €0.01 €0.02 €0.05 €0.10 €0.20 €0.50 €1.00 €2.00
2014 200,000 200,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 500,000 651,842 500,000

* No coins were minted that year for that denomination
** Data not available yet
*** Small quantities minted for sets only

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Monetary Agreement between the European Union and the Principality of Andorra". Official Journal of the European Union. 2011-12-17. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  2. ^ a b "De les peces de coure a l’euro propi, el procés d’emissió de moneda a Andorra". Bondia. 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  3. ^ Els sets estàndard de monedes d’euro andorranes es podran sol·licitar a partir d’aquest dimarts a la tarda (in Catalan)
  4. ^ "Agreements on monetary relations (Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican and Andorra)". EurLex. 
  5. ^ "Punt de Trobada i Hiper tancaran dissabtes a les deu" (in Catalan). 
  6. ^ "Andorra - Informationen zu künftigen Euromünzen und der Einführung des Euro;" (in German). . See also: M. Maresceau, "The relations between the EU and Andorra, San Marino and Monaco" in A. Dashwood & M. Maresceau (eds.), Law and Practice of EU External Relations, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2008, 270-307, p. 299-300
  7. ^ "L'acord monetari entre Andorra i la Unió Europea se signarà d'ací a pocs dies" (in Catalan). 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  8. ^ "The euro outside the euro area". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Martí rubrica l’acord monetari que permet encunyar euros propis" (in Catalan). 
  10. ^ "L'acord monetari, el camí cap l'espai econòmic adaptat als microestats" (in Catalan). 
  11. ^ "Cinca preveu que Andorra pugui començar a emetre euros el gener del 2014". 2012-10-03. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  12. ^ a b "The government announces a contest for the design of the Andorran euros". Andorra Mint. 2013-03-19. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  13. ^ "Nouvelles d'Andorre" (in French). 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  14. ^ a b Poy, Ricard (2013-12-11). "Govern fixarà límits per a l’adquisició dels euros andorrans". Diari d'Andorra. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  15. ^ "Govern torna a rellançar el projecte de regulació del registre de patents". Diari d'Andorra. 2014-05-29. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  16. ^ "A punt la posada en circulació dels euros d'Andorra". El Periòdic d'Andorra. 2014-07-10. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  17. ^ "Una part dels euros del país es distribuirà via Espanya i França". Diari d'Andorra. 2014-07-06. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  18. ^ Poy, Ricard (2014-12-04). "Els euros andorrans estaran en circulació en quinze dies". Diari d'Andorra. Retrieved 2014-12-04. 
  19. ^ "El Govern convoca un concurs públic nacional per al disseny de l'euro andorrà" (in Catalan). 2013-03-19. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  20. ^ a b "La Casa de la Vall, el Pantocràtor romànic i un isard, les imatges escollides pels euros andorrans". Government of Andorra. 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  21. ^ Castillo, Gerard (2013-08-15). "Govern admet que va canviar el disseny de l'euro a instàncies de la UE". Diari Andorra. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  22. ^ "Andorra no tendrá la imagen del Pantocrátor en sus euros". ABC. 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  23. ^ "Euros andorrans". Govern d'Andorra. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 

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