By Martin Banks - 3rd December 2012
This move shows that the commission has no respect for the religious and cultural heritage of European countries
The commission has come under fire after it asked Slovakia to consider removing a cross and a halo from a commemorative coin.
There were also similar requests from some eurozone countries, believed to be France and Greece.
The commission said the removal of the religious symbols was due to the need to observe religious neutrality.
In response, Slovakia has now removed the halos from a €2 coin commemorating the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of saints Cyril and Methodius in Moravia.
However, the request has been branded by some as "silly EU censorship".
Slovakia, a eurozone member since 2009, is due to start circulating the coin next year to mark the arrival of saints Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia and Panonia, which was part of modern Slovakia.
Countries in the eurozone are allowed to mint commemorative coins once a year but the image on the back of the coin must be accepted by other eurozone members and the commission.
Slovakia agreed to remove the halo despite Cyril and Methodius' status as saints.
In a statement, the commission said, "Under EU rules, when designing the national side of a euro coin, member states are required to take into account that the coins will circulate throughout the whole eurozone.
"In that context, proposed designs are shared in advance with other member states so that they can provide any comments they deem appropriate."
A commission source said that some members states had objected to the design of the coin and that Slovakia had submitted a slightly amended design, "which has now been approved".
However, both the commission and some member states have come under fire over the move.
In Slovakia, the Christian Democratic movement, the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union and some members of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party have demanded that the Slovak central bank reinstates the original artistic proposal for the coin.
Some Slovak politicians have also reportedly condemned what they call the 'dictate of Brussels' and 'high-handedness of officials from the commission".
Further condemnation came on Monday from UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall who said, "This move shows that the commission has no respect for the religious and cultural heritage of European countries.
"The EU is a deeply secularising project hostile to Europe's Christian believers. It is very telling the EU would demand that Slovakia remove saint halos from its coins.
"Anybody who is Christian or a believer in religious freedom should be naturally opposed to the EU."