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13 June 2019

ECB: The international role of the euro

This 18th annual review of the international role of the euro published by the ECB presents an overview of developments in the use of the euro by non-euro area residents.

This report covers developments in 2018 and early 2019. This period was characterised by growing concerns about the impact of international trade tensions, a protracted slowdown in global growth, reversals in cross-border capital flows and challenges to multilateralism, including the imposition of unilateral sanctions.

On balance, these developments, together with progress towards deepening Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), seem to have had a positive effect on the international use of the euro, which showed tentative signs of recovering from historic lows. In particular, the euro’s share in global foreign exchange reserves, international debt issuance and international deposits increased, as did its share in outstanding amounts of international loans. Its use as an invoicing currency remained broadly stable, as did shipments of euro banknotes to destinations outside the euro area.

The European Commission has launched an initiative to strengthen the international role of the euro and issued a Communication to this effect on 5 December 2018. Like the Commission, the Eurosystem stresses that the international role of the euro is primarily supported by a deeper and more complete EMU, including advancing the capital markets union, in the context of the pursuit of sound economic policies in the euro area. The Eurosystem supports these policies and emphasises the need for further efforts to complete EMU.

The ECB will continue to monitor developments in and publish information on the international role of the euro on a regular basis.

Full review

© ECB - European Central Bank

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