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Eurozone finance ministers reaffirmed their support for efforts to prepare for the potential launch of a digital euro. Meanwhile, the single currency area’s monetary authority sought to reassure future users that the new currency is “privacy-preserving by default and by design”.

Eurogroup remains involved in development of digital euro, says many decisions are political

The finance ministers of the EU Member States which have adopted the common European currency, the Eurogroupmet in Brussels on Monday to mark Croatia’s accession to the eurozone and discuss topical issues — from the economic situation to the coordination of fiscal policies in the eurozone.

One of the topics discussed was the progress of the initiative to issue a digital version of the euro. In a statement adopted by the forum, government officials pledged to continue their involvement, Paschal Donohoe, the chairman of the informal format, quoted as saying:

What we plan to do is to continue our political engagement with the ECB and with the Commission as they move forward in their processes, because what the Eurogroup has recognized today is that many decisions that await are inherently political.

“The Eurogroup considers that the introduction of a digital euro as well as its main characteristics and design choices require political decisions which must be discussed and taken at political level”, specifies the joint declaration, underlining the need to legislation approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.

While reaffirming their commitment to support the project, which is still in its investigation phase which began in mid-2021, the ministers also stressed that any future decision on the possible broadcast “would only come after further exploration in a possible realization phase”.

Following their discussions, members of the group insisted that a digital euro should complement, not replace cash, among other recommendations. The central bank digital currency (CBDC) should come with a high level of confidentiality, they also said and explained:

To succeed, the digital euro must ensure and maintain the trust of users, for whom privacy is a key dimension and a fundamental right.

ECB says European digital currency will ensure payment privacy

“Preserving privacy by default and by design” was one of the stated goals in a “Digital Euro – Review” report also released this week by the European Central Bank (ECB). Presenting its views on the matter, the regulator said the digital euro will “guarantee the confidentiality of personal data and payments” and detailed:

The ECB will not have information about people’s holdings, transaction histories or payment habits. The data is only accessible to intermediaries for regulatory compliance.

The Eurozone Monetary Authority further stressed that its CBDC will not be programmable money while noting that lawmakers will have the final say on the balance between privacy and other public policy goals. The ECB also hinted that greater privacy could be allowed for less risky and offline transactions.

Keywords in this story

CBDC, digital currency, digital euro, ECB, EU, Council of the EU, euro, eurozone, Eurogroup, Europe, European, European Commission, European Parliament, Eurozone, finance ministers, Encounter, ministers, project, statements, Support

Do you think Europe will eventually decide to issue a digital euro? Share your expectations in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a tech-savvy Eastern European journalist who loves Hitchens’ quote: “Being a writer is who I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Alexandros Michailidis /

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