Summing up the issue with rounding cents

calendar iconApr 16, 2020

A couple of weeks ago, the EU Commission announced the Commission's work program 2020.

Under Annex 2 and the heading "An economy that works for the population" point 34 proposes “uniform rounding rules":

“Evaluation of the use of one- and two-euro cent coins and of the possibility to introduce common rounding rules. A possible proposal would introduce common rounding rules to address the challenges related to the use of one- and two-euro cent coins.”

Basically, this means that the EU Commission plans to withdraw one- and two-euro cent coins from circulation. Only the EU member countries Belgium, Finland, Ireland and the Netherlands already use rounding rules. In others, such as Germany, pilot projects for rounding failed as for example in the city of Klewe.

The Mint Directors Working Group (MDWG), the professional committee representing all EU Mints, was “very surprised by this announcement” and recommends in its statement from February 1st 2020 “to seek the consent of the all Member States”. It says that “without an extensive impact study, it would be very premature to continue public information”.

The Austrian Mint on its part, advocates keeping the one- and two-euro cent coins as long as they are in popular demand, which is the case in Austria.

“We are well aware of worries in the population that this may be another step toward a cashless society – a vision which is strongly opposed by the majority of European citizens as all surveys show.”
"International Currency Association (ICA)

Coins are popular across all age groups and nationalities as the lively collector’s community demonstrates. Many EU Member States have yet to respond to the Commission’s inquiry. It would be sensible for the EU Commission to follow the MDWG’s advice and communicate only once all aspects of the matters, including an impact assessment, are on the table.

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Last Updated: Jun 6, 2020