On 1 May 2004, the European Union underwent a massive enlargement with the accession of ten new Member States, including Slovakia. Národná banka Slovenska is preparing the issue of a €2 commemorative coin to mark the 10th anniversary of Slovakia's accession to the European Union, and in April 2013 it announced a public anonymous competition for the design of the coin's national side.
A total of 24 designs by 11 designers were entered in the competition. In May 2013, the designs were judged by the NBS Governor's Committee for the Assessment of Slovak Euro Coins Designs, which took expert advice from Mgr. Peter Beňo, a representative of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.
A design by Mária Poldaufová won first prize in the competition and was approved for the national side of the coin. The Committee praised the design for the transparency and clarity of its composition, in which the letters of the EU and state emblem of the Slovak Republic feature prominently. The Committee noted in particular how the symbolic elements stand out within the small surface area of the coin. The design clearly symbolises the accession of the Slovak Republic to the European Union and, with a stylised euro symbol, it also refers to Slovakia's entry into the euro area.
Mária Poldaufová was also awarded second prize in the competition for a sophisticated design in which several symbols express Slovakia's relations with the European Union. The Committee commended the ingenuity of depicting a state emblem stamp leaving its imprint in a book symbolising EU history.
Third prize was awarded to Branislav Ronai for a design that aptly emphasises the fact that ten countries simultaneously acceded to the EU on 1 May 2004. It shows ten EU stars including a larger one, representing Slovakia, which is juxtaposed next to a map of Slovakia.
The Committee's recommendation for the design of the commemorative coin and the prizes awarded in the competition were approved by the NBS Governor in June 2013. The commemorative coin is due to be issued in April 2014 and its parameters will be the same as those of regular €2 circulation coins. It is intended for circulation and will be legal tender in all euro area countries.
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