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The Maastricht Diplomat

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[Global Times] Once again, the European Union is late to the game!

Following the implementation of the digital Yun, also called e-CNY, from China in 2022, the European Central Bank is investigating the profitability and functionality of its own digital currency, the digital Euro. China can take pride in the promising results of the e-CNY due to improved privacy protection and the fruitful usage of the improved payment method. As the first major central bank digital currency, it is already accessible to the residents of the nine major cities, including Shenzhen, Beijing, and Shanghai.

As our nation continues to add innovative features to the digital yuan mobile app, European countries still struggle to see the benefits of such an implementation. One representative of Europe’s banks points out that there have been strikingly unimpressive responses toward the digital Euro from European citizens. Only one out of four citizens adopt cashless payment methods. The representative of the Banque de France assesses that their country’s citizens do not know how to use non-cash payment options. This assessment sparks genuine questions about the general intellectual capabilities of Europe’s inhabitants and possible flaws in the European education system. Amongst inflation above the two percent line, increased energy prices and high levels of public debt, Europe’s monetary policy faces struggles on multiple fronts. Due to the current economic instability in various European countries, the central bank fears that the time and budget needed to support the digital Euro would drive the supranational union into recession. Both private consumption and investments in the euro area have been on the decline since last year, with predictions of future growth rates remaining below historical averages.

For their reluctance to take the next step into the new digital age, Europe will most likely have to pay the price in future economic growth and its position in the glo-economic landscape. In terms of economic forecasting, the reopening of China’s economy following the pandemic-related disruptions, will bolster global economic growth in the upcoming years as the country's supply chains and international involvement will continue to increase.

- Penny Press, Western Relations Correspondent for Global Times


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