Fact Check: EU Parliamentary Committee Vote On Digital Euro NOT Proof It Was Adopted And People Will Lose Control Over Their Money

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: EU Parliamentary Committee Vote On Digital Euro NOT Proof It Was Adopted And People Will Lose Control Over Their Money Not The Effect

Does a recent vote by a European parliamentary committee on a proposal to regulate the digital euro mean that a law establishing the digital euro currency was adopted and that people in the European Union will lose control of their money as a result? No, that's not true: What the European Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs voted on was a draft that contains amendments to the digital euro proposal, aimed at establishing a new, digital form of central bank money, alongside euro banknotes and coin. Both the proposal and the committee draft aim to regulate the digital euro and strengthen the protection of personal data. There is no evidence of any coercive measures on how European Union citizens would be able to use their money.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here), on TikTok by @mtudorep (archived here) on February 16, 2024, with the text overlay (translated from Romanian to English by Lead Stories staff):

Pay attention, carefully! It's a law! It was voted! Digital euro - payment coin

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

TikTok screenshot

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Feb 21 07:42:54 2024 UTC)

The person in the video starts by saying (as translated) "unfortunately, the tyranny continues" and adds that the committee "gave the green light to the implementation of the euro digital currency." He then claims that "our money, personal property, will no longer be completely ours" and that, by being allowed to be included in a digital wallet, it will be "managed, controlled and supervised either by a bank or by a public institution of the state."

On February 14, 2024, the European Union (EU) Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) voted, by 48 to six, to approve its draft opinion (archived here) on the EU Commission's "Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of the digital euro."

The European Commission proposal (archived here) is part of the EU Digital Euro Legislation Package, which is still in progress. Its goal is to introduce an electronic equivalent to cash, complementing banknotes and coins, not substituting for them, in the EU.

The claim that the legislative proposal is "tyranny" is baseless since both the EU proposal and the committee's draft opinion make it clear that the digital euro is conceived as a complementary form of currency in the EU states whose currency is the euro, and that coins and banknotes would remain available to the public. The draft opinion specifically amends a paragraph in the EU Commission proposal (point 21 in the section starting with "Whereas" which exposes the reasons for the law) to add the word "additional:"

The main objective of the establishment of the digital euro is its use as an additional form of the single currency with legal tender in the euro area.

In point 58, the proposal also states that "users should be able, if they so wish, to onboard and authorize payments with the digital euro by using the European Digital Identity Wallets," but it does not impose them as the only means.

There is also no proof that EU citizens' money will no longer be theirs or that the digital wallet will be "controlled" by the bank or state institutions.

In its explanatory memorandum, the proposal states that it aims to ensure a "high level of privacy in digital payments," adding that "the digital euro would not be programmable money and could therefore not be used to limits its spending to or direct it at specific goods or services," that it "will be available offline, with a level of privacy vis a vis payment service providers which is comparable to withdrawals of banknotes at automatic teller machines and to the use of cash" and that "the settlement of digital Euro transactions will be designed in such a way that neither the European Central Bank nor national central banks can attribute data to an identified or identifiable digital euro user."

Other amendments to the proposal concern personal data protection, combatting money laundering and creating arrangements between the Central European Bank and the national central bank of EU member states whose currency is not the euro to distribute the digital euro.

Lead Stories has previously shown that the EU digital wallet is not meant as a way to control the population. You can read that fact check here.


  Lead Stories Staff

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