Do we need the digital Euro and (how) does money work democratically

© re:publica Berlin

Lightning Talk
by Dr. Carola Westermeier at the re:publica 23

Monday, 5 June 2023, 16:15 – 16:45 CET
re:publica 23 | Arena, Berlin | Lightning Box 1

The Festival for the Digital Society, re:publica, has chosen “CASH” as this year’s motto. For the discourse project Democracy Issues of the Digitalised Financial Sector (eFin & Democracy) social scientist Dr. Carola Westermeier gives a lightning talk on the question „Do we need the digital Euro or (how) does money work democratically?”

The prospect of a digital euro becoming reality is increasingly likely. Despite differing opinions between banks, fin-techs, politicians and the European Central Bank, there is a lack of public debate on the subject. The introduction of a new form of public money, however, should enhance a discourse on the implications of digitizing our currency.

The rise in popularity of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, alongside the increasing use of cashless payments, has led to mounting pressure on central banks worldwide to take action. As a result, there have been efforts to introduce Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), with the European Central Bank (ECB) exploring the possibility of a digital euro as a complement to physical cash. The ECB’s Governing Council is expected to make initial decisions on this matter before the end of 2023, signifying the urgency of public discourse on the potential democratic issues surrounding the digitization of our currency.

Do citizens and civil society have any opportunities to participate? Can money be shaped democratically? Which aspects are relevant from a democratic perspective and how can they gain influence in the decision-making process? Will CBDCs promote financial inclusion or rather deepen the digital divide in payments? Would the euro area benefit from having its own Central Bank Digital Currency to prevent reliance on non-European entities and major tech companies for payment solutions?

The event will be held in German.

Zum Diskursprojekt Demokratiefragen des digitalisierten Finanzsektors»

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