More than 11,000 individuals and organizations have provided comments on the EU Commission’s “Digital euro for the EU” project in less than two weeks since it was opened for public consultation. The section for input will be accessible until June 14th.
In addition to the website’s open-ended comments section, there is a targeted consultation questionnaire to gather information from industry representatives, authorities, and experts.
The topics vary from privacy and data protection, anti-money laundering (AML), and counter-terrorist financing (CFT) rules, the impact on financial stability, and users’ needs and expectations.
EU Commission opened up for public comments
The consultation period runs ahead of the parliamentary debate on the digital euro, which is planned to begin in 2023.
According to crypto advocate Patrick Hansen, the majority of respondents in last year’s round of consultations on the digital euro spoke out in support of payments being a private affair. Despite this, Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni of the EU Commission remarked that “a totally anonymous digital euro is not desired.”
A study of a sample of the information in the public feedback area indicated that there was some dissatisfaction with the project as a whole as evident from the EU commission’s website feedback. As one example, an anonymous German remark reads:
“I am against a digital euro for the EU. My concern is that basic freedoms can also be endangered here and authoritarian governments would then have total control. The example of the Maastricht criteria shows that the previous governments do not follow the rules and with a digital euro the state could do what it wants with its citizens and suppress any opposition.”German-language commentator, Michael Hagmüller
In addition, residents of smaller EU member states have expressed concern about the likelihood of increased power consolidation in the hands of the EU’s largest economies.
Others voiced displeasure with the whole process of money virtualization, which is expected to be accelerated significantly if a pan-European digital currency is formed.
However, the euphoria about the level of input should be tempered because the great majority of comments are anonymous brief remarks that are generally critical of the project. These are not necessarily representative of the views of the majority of EU citizens.