THE European Commission (EC) will evaluate the use of 1 and 2 euro cent coins with a view to eliminate them this year.

The EC’s Work Programme for 2020, presented this week, will include the evaluation as part of a raft of new measures from German president Ursula von der Leyen, who took charge in December last year.

The vice president of the EC, Maros Sefcovic, explained in a press conference that the objective of the evaluation is to analyse the ‘efficiency’ in the use of these currencies.

According to a report prepared by the Commission in 2018, in many cases the cost of producing these coins exceeds their value.

The report also found that in countries with rules on rounding up shop prices – such as Finland, Italy, Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands – consumers have not been negatively affected by extra costs.

Brussels will therefore seek to issue new orders on prices to smooth out discrepancies across the EU.

“We want to ensure that we make the appropriate analysis and then consider our proposal,” said Sefcovic, adding that a wide range of stakeholders will be consulted.

This initiative is part of the Work Programme that contains a hundred initiatives grouped into the six political priorities of the new EC executive.

It comes as the UK rejected proposals to scrap 1 and 2 pence coins following a media backlash concerned that charity collections would be negatively affected.

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