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On the money? Brussels wants to strengthen the role of the euro

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On the money? Brussels wants to strengthen the role of the euro

Some 340 million European citizens use euro banknotes and coins every day
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Some 340 million European citizens use euro banknotes and coins every day - Pixabay
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Brussels says it wants to strengthen the international role of the euro to better protect citizens and businesses against external shocks.

It's part of a bid by the EU to challenge the dollar's dominance in global markets amid a rift in transatlantic ties.

The European Commission called on countries in the EU to promote the wider use of the single currency.

It comes as many European businesses still trade in US dollar in key markets, often between themselves.

"A wider use of the euro in the global economy yields important potential for better protecting European citizens and companies against external shocks and making the international finance and monetary system more resilient," said Pierre Moscovici, EU commissioner for economic and financial affairs, taxation and customs.

"Progress on the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union is therefore not only needed to promote growth and stability at home, but it is also an important project to underpin our European autonomy in a globalised world."

Miguel Arias Cañete, EU commissioner for climate action and energy, said: "The EU is the world's largest energy importer with an average import bill of €300 billion, with an open and competitive internal market.

"Strengthening the international role of the euro in the field of energy investment and trade will help reduce the risk of supply disruptions and promote the autonomy of European businesses.

"It can, therefore, make an important contribution to our objective to ensure the security of supply in the Energy Union."

European Commission announced its plans on Twitter

The commission said it will launch a series of targeted consultations with stakeholders and report on the results next summer.

It also wants additional measures to foster a deep European financial sector, including stronger European financial market infrastructures; solid interest rate benchmarks, and an integrated instant payment system in the EU.

Promoting the euro's international role is part of Europe's commitment to an open, multilateral and rules-based global economy and trade, it said.

"Some 340 million European citizens use euro banknotes and coins every day across the euro area's 19 Member States," said the commission.

"Around 60 countries in the world use, will use or link their currency to the euro. It is a widely accepted currency for international payments, and a significant share of international reserves of foreign central banks and debt issuance on international markets are in euros.

"About 36% of the value of international transactions was invoiced or settled in euros in 2017. The euro represents around 20% of international reserves of foreign central banks. This is more than the share of the euro area in the worldwide gross domestic product (GDP)," the statement said.