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The euro is the second most important global currency after the US dollar. However, its international role has not increased since its inception in 1999. The private sector prefers using the US dollar rather than the euro because the financial market for US dollar-denominated assets is larger and deeper; network externalities and inertia also play a role. Increasing the attractiveness of the euro outside the euro area requires, among others, a proactive role for the European Central Bank and completing ...

This paper summarises recent trends in the international use of the euro and potential benefits and drawbacks of acquiring the status of an international currency, with a focus on implications for monetary policy. The benefits of international currency status are found to likely be limited and the effects on monetary policy to be ambiguous. The international role of the euro could be strengthened by policy initiatives in specific markets or as a by-product of improvements in the soundness of euro ...

The Euro and the Geopolitics of Post-COVID-19

Λεπτομερής ανάλυση 15-05-2020

This note provides a critical overview on the current status and recent trends related to the euro’s international standing over the last decade and reflects on the opportunities and risks for the role of the euro going forward, including the post-COVID-19 international trade and political order. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Global Currencies During a Crisis: Swap Line Use Reveals the Crucial Ones

Λεπτομερής ανάλυση 15-05-2020

The current crisis has confirmed the importance of the currency swap lines offered by the Federal Reserve. They enhance the role of the USD as the dominant global currency. However, one should not expect much impact on the international role of the euro when the ECB offers similar currency swap lines. Currency competition is not won by competing on the generosity of currency swap lines. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at ...

At the intersection between international economics and geopolitics, propositions and predictions on how the euro could challenge the global dominance of the US dollar have been circulating since the inception of the common currency. After an initial period of expansion, since 2006 the euro’s international role has largely diminished or stagnated. Developments such as the resurgence of trade protectionism and, more recently, the COVID-19 crisis bring about a number of risks and opportunities for ...

Happy birthday? The euro at 20

Λεπτομερής ανάλυση 31-01-2019

We analyse the first twenty years of the euro both from an economic and an institutional perspective. We find that in particular during the period since the financial crisis, convergence as measured by a variety of indicators has not improved. Design flaws in the Eurozone institutional architecture have contributed importantly to this lack of convergence. This is why further reforms are urgently needed. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic ...

Twenty years of euro history confirms the euro’s stability and position as the second global currency. It also enjoys the support of majority of the euro area population and is seen as a good thing for the European Union. The European Central Bank has been successful in keeping inflation at a low level. However, the European debt and financial crisis in the 2010s created a need for deep institutional reform and this task remains unfinished. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the ...

This note, provided by Policy department A, gives an overview of in-depth analyses prepared for the Monetary Dialogue which took place on 28 January 2019.

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain

Μελέτη 05-07-2018

More and more regulators are worrying about criminals who are increasingly using cryptocurrencies for illegitimate activities like money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion. The problem is significant: even though the full scale of misuse of virtual currencies is unknown, its market value has been reported to exceed EUR 7 billion worldwide. This paper prepared by Policy Department A elaborates on this phenomenon from a legal perspective, focusing on the use of cryptocurrencies for financial ...

On 15 January, the Swiss National Bank discontinued its currency ceiling, set at 1.20 Swiss francs to the euro, less than four years after its introduction. The Swiss franc (CHF) appreciated immediately, reaching as much as 0.97 CHF to the euro that day. This currency move has had, and will continue to have, an impact both on the Swiss and the euro area economies: the system that has been in place is described briefly below as well as the consequences of the Bank's decision.