ECB’s Panetta: To Report on Digital Euro Investigation Phase in October

4 September 2023

By David Barwick – FRANKFURT (Econostream) – European Central Bank Executive Board member Fabio Panetta on Monday said that the ECB’s work on a digital euro had progressed to the point at which the Governing Council would soon be faced with the decision to continue pursuing the project or not.

In prepared remarks at the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament, Panetta said that nevertheless, ‘there is still a long journey ahead of us, and further close cooperation between European institutions will be needed in order to determine the optimal design of a digital euro.’

The ECB’s investigatory consideration of a digital euro was however nearing a key inflection point, he said.

‘Next month we will report on the findings of the investigation phase’, he said. ‘On this basis, the Governing Council will decide whether to move to the next phase of the project. But again, let me be very clear: a possible decision by the Governing Council to issue a digital euro is not on the table now, and would only be taken after the legislation is adopted.’

Were the project to continue, the entire Eurosystem would ‘continue to analyse digital euro functionalities and eventually move towards developing and testing technical solutions and business arrangements to be ready to start issuing a digital euro, if and when warranted’, he said.

The ECB would naturally take into account the outcome of legislative considerations of a digital currency and would continue to seek the input of relevant stakeholders, he said.

Panetta expressed support for a digital euro, which ‘follows in the footsteps of the architects of the euro, who rightly believed that the currency union would only be complete with a tangible form of the euro, issued by the central bank’, he said. ‘The digital euro takes their vision forward into a digitalised world. By providing an electronic form of cash, it will preserve people’s freedom to choose between private and public forms of our single currency for their everyday payments.’