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EU Finance Ministers’ Group Releases Statement on Political Aspects of Digital Euro

The Eurogroup reaffirmed its support for digital euro research while noting that some of the design and use features under discussion would necessitate political decisions.

Following a meeting in Brussels, eurozone finance ministers issued a declaration on the launch of the digital euro. According to the statement, the Eurogroup meets on a regular basis to discuss the political elements of the future digital currency. The announcement on January 16 coincides with the publication of a European Central Bank (ECB) “stock taking” paper outlining the status of digital euro design.

The Eurogroup statement highlighted the need for the European Central Bank and European Commission to keep the Eurogroup and EU member states up to date on advances in the establishment of the digital euro, which is now under investigation. According to the statement:

“The Eurogroup considers that the introduction of a digital euro as well as its main features and design choices requires political decisions that should be discussed and taken at the political level.”

The committee outlined the topics it was keeping an eye on, which included the environmental effects of digital money, privacy, financial stability, and other related concerns. It has indicated interest in non-eurozone European Union member countries’ plans for central bank digital currencies.

The group’s members “stand ready to participate to these talks,” they said, adding:

“We also welcome the [European] Commission’s intention to table in the first half of 2023 a legislative proposal that would establish the digital euro and regulate its main features, subject to the decision of the co-legislators.”

That suggestion is expected to be presented to the ECB Governing Council in the third quarter of the year, when the outcomes of the digital currency investigation phase will be reviewed.

The Eurogroup declaration comes just one day after a former Bank of England adviser wrote in the Financial Times that building CBDCs is not worth the expense and danger.

 

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