Digital Euro and procedure tracking

The Digital Euro: Tracking complex procedures with SAVOIRR

In June 2023 when the proposal for the Digital Euro was launched by the European Commission, it caught the attention of the media while the issue has been fiercely debated by the finance and banking sector for the last three years. The most frequently asked question, such as in the Financial Times, is: “Is the Digital Euro a solution that is looking for a problem?”

With no major gap in the tightly regulated market right now, banks and other financial organisations fail to see the need for the public sector to move into digital currency.

To understand the initiative, one has to first look at the proposal which in fact came from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the national banks in the Eurozone, known as the Eurosystem. There are three main reasons that the ECB mentioned:

  1. Public money could ultimately lose its role as the monetary anchor in the Eurozone as the use of cash continues to decline.
  2. Private providers cannot truly replicate the role of central bank money. Without a strong monetary anchor, it would create confusion about what qualifies as money.
  3. The digital private sector is dominated by a handful of providers that are headquartered outside of the European Union. This could exacerbate the risk of the European payments market being dominated by non-European solutions and technologies.

From the ECB's point of view, looking forward, there are threats on the horizon that might jeopardise Europe's monetary sovereignty. Crypto and other digital currencies are a new way in which public money is being changed and used. With the rapid advancement of fintech, other central banks are seeing the threat, with China at the helm of the creation of a major digital public money. While transactions are currently low-cost within the Eurozone, there is no EU-wide European-controlled payment system.

It is however not always easy to navigate through the multitude of opinions regarding the proposal. First of all, Member States do not all agree either partially or fully with the idea. Likewise in the European Parliament, there are MEPs who see the value of a digital currency in providing a free alternative of payment within the Eurozone, but many are more sceptical such as MEP Markus Ferber (EPP, Germany) of the ECON Committee. Industry stakeholders are equally divided on the prospects of the Digital Euro. Some see the benefits of the Eurozone jumping on the bandwagon sooner than later, while others do not see the problem of payment systems being in the hands of non-European players as long as these are regulated and stable at the moment.

SAVOIRR allows you to collect these opinions and navigate the procedure to understand, influence and prepare for new and complex initiatives on one single platform.

From consultation to legislation with SAVOIRR

Our app enables you to connect a legislative procedure to its related consultation. This is necessary for the public affairs specialist to analyse the feedback received during the consultation, in order to understand the stakeholder landscape.

When checking the consultation "A digital euro for the EU", we found a total of 18745 unique feedback regarding the consultation. Going through the feedback, we see that many come from private citizens who understood the proposal to be an attempt to undermine privacy.

But when looking at the 101 feedback received from the commission proposal itself, the opinions are from registered entities with the Transparency Register, and they reflect the policy positions within the finance and banking industry. Going through the feedback and attachments, we can see five broad groups of stakeholders:

  • Commercial banks
  • Fintech and Crypto
  • Payment providers
  • E-market platforms and retailers
  • Consumer associations

Using SAVOIRR to monitor the procedure

With SAVOIRR, once you have defined your Focus Area, you will automatically be alerted to both the consultation and the procedure if you have expressed your interest in finance and banking related files. You are able to tag the items you are interested in to continue to monitor their progress. As you can see below, you will always have the official detailed summary of the legislative procedure.

The live timeline provides you with a bird's eye view of the procedure and exactly where it is at right now. Should there be a discussion planned in the European Parliament on the file, such as a meeting of the leading committee, you will be alerted to it.

Who is lobbying the policymakers on the Digital Euro?

What makes SAVOIRR a disruptor in EU RegTech is not just its AI-driven algorithm that delivers the right data to you, but also its live competition tracking feature. For each legislative procedure, we show you who has been meeting with which policymaker.

As you see from the screenshot above, the leading committee of the procedure is the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). The Rapporteur of the file is Stefan Berger (EPP, Germany) and he has so far had 8 meetings. Shadow rapporteurs Gilles Boyer (Renew, France) had 12 meetings, Chris MacManus (GUE/NGL, Ireland) had 6 meetings and Henrike Hahn (Greens, Germany) had 2 meetings. The other shadow rapporteurs - Paul Tang (S&D, the Netherlands), Gunnar Beck (ID, Germany) and Michiel Hoogeveen (ECR, the Netherlands) had no meetings recorded so far. This is the same case with shadow rapporteur of LIBE the Committee for opinion, Emil Radev (EPP, Bulgaria).

Let's take a dive into the meetings that Rapporteur Stefan Berger had.

In the beginning, MEP Berger mainly met with German banking organisations, such as the Bundesverband Deutscher Banken (Federation of German Banks), the Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft (the German Credit Company), and the Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband (the Association of German Saving Banks). 

What is interesting is that three Directorates-General of the European Commission - DG FISMA, DG ECFIN and DG CONNECT - met with him on 26 September. 

The other major group of stakeholders who met with MEP Berger were the payment providers. Amazon and Mastercard held a meeting with him separately on 10 October. Their umbrella organisation, the European Payment Institutions Federation (EPIF), met him on 17 October.

Compared with the rapporteur, Shadow Rapporteur MEP Gilles Boyer was the most lobbied on this file. 

In particular, he met with banking organisations from various countries: the Fédération bancaire française (French Banking Federation), the Bundesverband der Deutschen Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken (Federation of German Cooperative Banks), and the Österreichischer Sparkassenverband (the Federation of Austrian Saving Banks). He also met with individual banks: French banks BNP Paribas and Société Générale, Spanish bank Banco Santander, German bank Deutsche Bank. 

Like the rapporteur, he was also approached by payment companies, the European Payment Institutions Federation and their member American Express. What is interesting is that the consumer organisation BEUC managed to obtain some of his time for their point of view. So did Digital Europe, the federation representing the digital sector.

While the number of meetings held are lower than the above, MEP MacManus spoke to key stakeholders with very different perspectives. He met with the ECB, most likely to better understand the dossier. He met with NGOs, Finance Watch and epicenter.works, and also BEUC. He also certainly understood the industries' points of view, after meeting Digital Europe and EPIF.

Lastly MEP Hahn only received the viewpoints of the consumer organisation, with BEUC and the Verbrachuerzentrale Bundesverband (German Federation of User Centres)

The rest of the shadow rapporteurs have so far not met with anyone. SAVOIRR with this live competition tracking feature, will keep you updated whenever they do.

So who is influencing the future of the Digital Euro?

In the screenshot below, you can see on SAVOIRR, that the most active stakeholder on the Digital Euro procedure is the European Payment Institutions Federation. Should the proposal be fully accepted as it is, the current non-European payment providers will be the most affected by it. 

Commercial banks like the Deutsche Bank as well as their respective banking associations are also active in their outreach. Should the Digital Euro be adopted, this means that European banks will have to adapt and reform much of their product offering, and ensure that capital does not flow towards the Digital Euro.

Consumer organisations like BEUC are the other major active stakeholder group. As with all digital products and services, they strive to ensure user privacy is not compromised and that user data is not transferred without any user consent.

As you can see from the above analysis, the Digital Euro is an ongoing legislative procedure with many active stakeholders busy giving their perspectives. 

With the unique live competition tracking feature of SAVOIRR, you will turbocharge your public affairs success by not just monitoring a legislative file, you will get to enhance your policymaker engagements by understanding who else is influencing the dossier.

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