The Möbius band is at the heart of the logo for Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2020 symbolising an innovative Europe united in solidarity.
The Presidency logo has as its focal point the Möbius band, one of geometry’s most fascinating objects and the classic example of a single-sided surface in algebraic topology. It takes the form of a loop with only one edge and one side making it impossible to distinguish between the loop’s top and bottom or inside and outside.
Descriptions of the Möbius band were first penned more than 160 years ago in 1858 when two German scientists discovered such single-sided surfaces independently from one another. The band was named after one of them, August Ferdinand Möbius (1790‑1868). Born in Leipzig, the mathematician and astronomer was the son of a dance teacher and a descendant of Martin Luther. Carl Friedrich Gauss appointed him adjunct professor and later director of the Leipzig Observatory.
Today the Möbius band is not only at home in the natural sciences. Famous depictions of the two-dimensional twisted loop can be found in the visual arts, films, video games and literature. In mathematical terms, the Möbius band, in the form of an infinite loop, is a non‑orientable manifold. No matter where you start and what direction you go, you always end up on the same side.
The band symbolises an innovative and integrated Europe in which unity is created through exchanging and converging different interests. A strong band for a united Europe. A Europe rooted in a shared spirit of solidarity.