The EESC supports the digital euro project, while underlining the importance of a clear European legal framework able to establish the exceptional possibility of temporary exemptions for certain payees, and to harmonise practices and standards that vary from one Member State to another. It is essential to ensure that the digital euro does not negatively impact financial stability or the lending potential of credit institutions. The EESC encourages a broad public debate on the reasons for possible issuance of a digital euro, its merits and drawbacks, in order to make informed decisions and ensure public understanding of the project.
Towards a stronger international role of the euro - Related Opinions
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The EESC opinion, that covers the Commission proposal and the request from the Spanish Presidency of the Council, endorses the reform. However, it notes the need to strike a balance between flexibility and predictability in its implementation, as well as a balanced and proportional public interest assessment to avoid damaging the interest of smaller and local entities.
Although considerable progress has already been made towards completing EMU, there is still a need to significantly reinforce all four of its pillars, taking care to maintain the balance between them, as neglecting one or more of these pillars could result in dangerous disparities. Resilience to crises is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for completing EMU: it also requires a positive vision, as set out in Article 3 of the EU Treaty. The EESC generally calls on the European institutions and national governments to take much more ambitious action in the context of EMU reform in order to achieve a more integrated, more democratic and socially better developed Union.
The EESC thinks that, in addition to strengthening the coordination between supervisory authorities and streamlining procedures, operations should also be coordinated with other relevant parties to tackle money laundering and terrorism financing effectively. The EESC stresses the importance of internal and external communication on money laundering and financing of terrorism. The key element in internal communications is improving and protecting information streams between the supervisory bodies concerned; in the case of external communication, the public in question should be provided with information and made aware of the different ways this kind of crime may be presented, as a means of preventing and preparing for it.
The EESC considers the proposed European Investment Stabilisation Function (EISF) as a step towards closer euro area integration, and possibly an attempt to encourage non-euro Member States to join the single currency. However, the EESC is of the view that a well-crafted union-wide insurance scheme that acts as an automatic stabiliser amidst macroeconomic shocks would be more effective than the proposed EISF.
The EESC welcomes and endorses the rationale behind the establishment of the Reform Support Programme. However, the EESC believes that, in order to launch the programme successfully and obtain the expected benefits, better responses are needed to a number of still open questions.
The EESC welcomes these proposals on sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBSs), which fit into the broader context of completing the Banking Union and building a Capital Markets Union (CMU). Moreover, the proposals also have the potential to make a positive contribution to financial stability and resilience. The EESC has been strongly advocating a weakening of the link between banks and their home countries ("sovereigns") and therefore welcomes that SBBSs aim to contribute to this. The EESC considers that in conceptual terms, the idea of SBBSs is an attractive one and feels that the only way to find out whether banks will switch from bonds from their home countries to SBBSs for their investments and whether investors will be prepared to buy "junior" tranches in sufficient quantities to justify the creation of SBBSs, is to test this new financial instrument - the SBBS - on the market.
Europeans need more (and better) Europe. The powers and financial resources currently allocated to the EU have been increasingly misaligned with the concerns and expectations of Europeans. The EESC, in accordance with the European Parliament's position, therefore proposes that the expenditure and revenue figure reach 1.3% of GNI. The proposed level of commitments of 1.11% of the EU's GNI is too modest to credibly deliver on the political agenda of the EU.
The EESC recognises the high European added value of the programmes where the MFF 2021-2027 concentrates the main increases in expenditure. However, the Committee questions the fact that these increases are made at the cost of strong cuts in cohesion policy (-10%) and the Common Agricultural Policy – CAP (-15%).
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