“Lack of public awareness of Digital Euro must be tackled” – Chris MacManus MEP

Chris MacManus MEP

Sinn Féin MEP and member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Chris MacManus has said it is unsurprising that ECB funded research has shown very little public awareness of the proposed Digital Euro. He was responding to the ECB publication of a “Study on New Digital Payment Methods” which showed that there is very little public awareness of what the Digital Euro is. The Midlands Northwest MEP said a dedicated public awareness campaign must begin now.

MacManus said:
“It is unsurprising that this research has shown that there is very little public knowledge or understanding of the Digital Euro. The Digital Euro will represent a major new dynamic in how we buy things and interact with the financial system.”

“Among the Irish focus group the report noted that : “Awareness of a digital euro was low among the general public” and that “The general public and the tech-savvy were mostly positive about the idea of a digital euro: their main concerns were the potential fees and charges involved, as well as the loss of cash as a payment option.”

“These concerns are two key points that the ECB and broader EU must tackle if the Digital Euro is to win public support.” MacManus warned. “The technology behind the Digital Euro removes much of the excuses that banks and intermediaries use to charge fees. The ECB should be clear that its aim is to create a system where using the Digital Euro is not just another cost on hard-pressed workers and another profit making scheme for banks.”

“Secondly, as I have raised directly with the ECB, the public do not want a replacement for cash. Cash must be readily available and an option for all. The ECB have said this is their position but they must keep insisting on it to reassure the public.”

“The report also notes that generally once explained to them the public are well disposed to an alternative to cryptocurrencies that has public backing. This is not surprising and should be put up in lights by the promoters of the Digital Euro.”

MacManus highlighted the importance of an all island approach to the Digital Euro in Ireland. “In an Irish context, it is important that the right of people in the north to use and hold Digital Euro is won. I have brought this to the attention of the ECB who are taking this issue seriously.”

He concluded, “Critically, the report also shows that the public and traders simply don’t get the need for the Digital Euro. It is up to the ECB and others pushing the Digital Euro to explain why and how it is different if it wants the public to accept and embrace it. A public awareness campaign should start now.”