Fabio Panetta: The digital euro - our money wherever, whenever we need it

Introductory statement by Mr Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, at the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament, Brussels, 23 January 2023.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
24 January 2023

Our investigation into a digital euro started more than a year ago.

Closely involving the European Parliament in the investigation phase has been a priority for the ECB from day one.

Over the course of 2022, we regularly discussed key design options in this Committee. Your views provided valuable input to our work and, together with the feedback from other public and private stakeholders, allowed us to make steady progress.

Such interactions are essential in ensuring that public money addresses the preferences and needs of citizens and businesses in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

People's payment behaviour is changing at an unprecedented speed: over the past three years, cash payments in the euro area have dropped from 72% to 59%, with digital payments becoming increasingly popular (Chart 1). In the Netherlands and Finland, for example, cash is used only in one fifth of the transactions. At the same time, people appreciate the option to pay with public money. Most see it as important or very important to always have that choice.