Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services, and the Capital Markets Union, believes that the implementation of a digital euro should not be rushed before the next parliamentary election in the Commission, which is scheduled for June 2024. During a speech at a think tank in Brussels, McGuinness emphasized the importance of taking a slow and careful approach to allow for concrete resolutions after the election.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has already proposed legislation for a digital euro that allows for virtual assets backed by the Euro. The ECB will decide in October whether to proceed with the currency, but McGuinness hopes that the decision will not be made hastily. She explained that as cash usage diminishes and virtual transactions become more popular, there is a need for a digital version of public money held by the central bank. McGuinness wants the proposals to be examined thoroughly due to their implications for the financial sectors, particularly cross-border payments.
Europe has gained recognition for its impressive approach to digital asset development, including the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation and similar web3 frameworks. MiCA, set to take effect in 2024, is considered the first comprehensive industry regulation, and experts have called for other jurisdictions to adopt or replicate its provisions. The EU is also focused on creating a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) with plans encompassing offline payments, privacy protection, and other services. This move aims to prevent private service providers from overshadowing the EU and position Europe as a leader among advanced economies. Additionally, the digital euro will allow users to access it through their current bank without the need to switch banks.