EU weighs need to ‘impede’ Libra in blow to Facebook
3 weeks ago
France is pushing for Council statement to contain stablecoins.
EU governments reserve the right to “impede” digital currencies like Facebook’s Libra that have global reach and threaten “monetary sovereignty,” said a draft statement obtained by POLITICO.
Senior officials from the bloc’s finance ministries are considering the one-page document, which was drafted by the Finnish EU presidency with input from the European Commission. The national officials have until Wednesday to propose amendments.
Ministers are due to discuss the statement at an Ecofin Council meeting next week. They could then issue the text as formal “conclusions” in December, escalating political resistance to the Facebook-led initiative.
“Our common objective is to ensure that these initiatives do not undermine our existing financial and monetary order as well as our monetary sovereignty,” the document read. “All options should be on the table include the possibility to take measures that would impede the development of projects that would create unmanageable risks.”
France has led the charge for Europe to raise defenses against Libra, the proposed stablecoin, so called because it would underpin its value with a basket of conventional currencies. Facebook and its 20 fellow backers aim to introduce the instrument next year, if regulators approve it. The social network’s 2.4 billion users could instantly give it worldwide scale.
Bruno Le Maire, the country’s finance minister, has previously said the EU “should refuse the development of Libra.” He gained backing from Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands to push for an EU statement.
Political pressure on Libra has already led to an exodus of seven companies from the project, including card networks Mastercard and Visa.