The European Central Bank said it removed 12.4pc fewer counterfeit euro banknotes from circulation in 2012 than in the previous year.
The bank withdrew about 531,000 forged notes compared with 606,000 in 2011, the ECB said. The number was 11.6pc higher in the second half of the year than in the first. The 20-euro and 50-euro notes were the most forged.
ECB President Mario Draghi unveiled a new €5 banknote to be introduced on May 2 as the first of the new "Europa series" with new security features.
The other denominations will be "introduced gradually over the coming years," the ECB said.