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ECB’s Lagarde Discusses Digital Euro Launch Before Her Term Ends in 2027

Shalini Nagarajan
Last updated: | 1 min read
ECB's Lagarde Discusses Digital Euro Launch Before 2027

European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde has hinted that a digital euro could be available to Europeans before her term ends in 2027. Still, she acknowledged achieving this would require a faster-than-anticipated rollout.

She told reporters in Paris on June 7 that EU bodies need to collaborate and establish a unified framework before such a launch.

“We are not the only ones working on this. The European Commission and the European Parliament will be critical, as they will give us the legal framework within which a digital euro would be issued,” she said, according to a transcript.

Lagarde Backs Digital Euro, Says ECB Must Be ‘Fit for the Future’

A digital euro would represent central bank money in digital format, offering an efficient and inclusive payment solution.

It would function as a digital counterpart to physical cash. And with the ECB’s backing, it would be accessible to the public, similar to traditional banknotes and coins.

Lagarde signaled her approval for the ECB launching a digital euro, viewing it as a key step for the bank to be “fit for the future.”

She added that if Europeans favor digital methods, central bank money should also be available in digital form.

Europeans Warm to Digital Euro, But Privacy Concerns Linger

There seems to be a good amount of interest in the digital euro among Europeans. This isn’t surprising, as both the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission have been pushing the idea. In fact, a recent survey showed that half of Germans are open to using a digital euro alongside their current payment options.

But while the idea is gaining traction in Europe, privacy worries still exist. ECB board member Fabio Panetta acknowledged this earlier, stating that the digital euro will be designed with privacy in mind. But it likely won’t offer the same level of anonymity as cash currently does.

“We will try to replicate the features of cash that people appreciate, that citizens prefer. That is, maximum level of privacy,” he said.

Similar to Lagarde, Germany’s central bank president, Dr. Joachim Nagel, also doesn’t foresee a swift launch for the digital euro. He has predicted a later rollout, suggesting 2028 or 2029 as a more realistic timeframe.