EU finance ministers’ group releases statement on political aspects of digital euro

The Eurogroup confirmed its support for digital euro research and noted that some of the design and use elements under consideration would require political decision making.

The finance ministers from the eurozone countries have released a statement on the introduction of the digital euro after a meeting in Brussels. The Eurogroup meets regularly to discuss political dimensions of the potential digital currency, it said. The Jan. 16 statement coincides with the release of a European Central Bank (ECB) “stock taking” document detailing the progress of digital euro design.

The Eurogroup statement addressed the need for the European Central Bank and European Commission to inform the Eurogroup and EU member states of developments in the creation of the digital euro, which is in its investigative phase. The statement said:

“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 group listed the issues it was watching, which included the environmental impacts of a digital currency, privacy, financial stability and related issues. It also expressed interest in the plans of non-eurozone European Union member states with regard to central bank digital currencies.

The members of the group “stand ready to contribute to these discussions,” they assured, 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 proposal is intended to come before the ECB Governing Council reviews the results of the digital currency investigative phase in the third quarter of the year.

Related: Queen Máxima of the Netherlands comes out in support of digital euro

The Eurogroup statement comes a day after a former Bank of England adviser published an editorial in the Financial Times saying that creating CBDCs is not worth the cost and risk.

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