The euro turned twenty in 2019. The European currency was born on 1 January 1999. That means roughly one quarter of European citizens alive today are part of “Generation €uro” – they are younger than the euro; they have grown up using euro notes and cents all their lives.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is the institution responsible for supervising the euro. The decisions made by the ECB have an impact on your day-to-day life, and they are very much aware of that. The price of a loaf of bread or a litre of milk are determined partly by the ECB’s goal of price stability. The availability of money in the Eurozone and the interest rates charged on loans are all influenced by ECB policy.

That’s why the ECB is partnering with Debating Europe and Bocconi University for an online debate. They want to give you the chance to talk to ECB policymakers so you can ask any questions you have and share your views with them (very much like our #Ask event with ECB President Mario Draghi).

Think Europe can do more for its young people? This is the topic of the next #ECBYouthDialogue and you can take part! One of the ECB’s Executive Board members, Benoît Cœuré, will be answering your questions on 13 March at 18:00 CET in front of an audience at Bocconi University in Milan, and Debating Europe will be streaming the live Q&A.

Send us your questions by 6 March! You can write us a comment or question in the form below this post. The debate will focus on the challenges that young Europeans face today and how Europe can address them.

NOTE: Benoît Cœuré responded to a selection of Debating Europe comments during the event, and you can see his responses here. The full video from the event is also available.

What can Europe do for you? What can the ECB do to improve economic conditions and help address unemployment? Is Europe’s financial sector more stable and secure now? What are some of the current economic risks and opportunities in Europe? Will young people also feel the benefits of the current risks and opportunities in Europe? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll put a selection of them to ECB Executive Board member Benoît Cœuré!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – European Youth Forum
Editorially independent content supported by: ECB. See our FAQ for more details.



79 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    Why would we continue using the euro while Italians had a better standard of living 20 years ago with the lira?

    • avatar

      Do not hold euro and EU for all the bad things that we are receiving. We have to ask also whether we have already done enough to improve our living standard. It is too easy to put the blame on others, while ignoring our own responsibility. Here I do not mean that we have to keep silent to our suffer but to give our reason and possible suggestion. Grumble cannot do anything better.

  2. avatar
    Christian Brandon

    I personally have no ideas on how to improve the economy. What interests me is what plans or ideas the ECB has to fix/improve the economy.

  3. avatar

    Why is there no relevant Scheme on the European level, but make ourselves fully reliant on American Schemes (MasterCard and Visa)?

  4. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    “The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank for the euro and administers monetary policy of the Eurozone, which consists of 19 EU member states and is one of the largest currency areas in the world.” All well and good!

    Why is the EU, the DE & Co, plus their Friends= still part of the EU= Eurozone/ECB not making a respectful & clear distinction between EUROPE= CoE (47) and the EU(28-1)?

    Most know by now, that in order to qualify for EU membership one must be CoE Member first. That surely is no automatic MANDATE for EU representatives to speak on behalf of EUROPE whenever they feel like? Spreading deliberate confusion?

    I record my objection as EU voter against such practice!
    What is the point of view of the other 20 CoE= not EU Members?

    All ECB/Euro Zone info can be ascertained by being critically inquisitive. No need to ask any biased EU subcontractors!

    Are the 20 year old of today mature & inquisitive enough not to require or fall for EU spoon feeding or unbalanced EU propaganda? Is taking selfish SELFIES in front of EU monuments the most important achievements for today’s EUROZONE youth?

    The Eurozone has been a failure for most of the 20-30 year young (“Lost generation”)- why?

    Who could accumulate more wealth- the “Euro Zone” generation or the one before?

    With all these wonderful “BocconiPeople” & their knowledge- why does Italy remain (one of) the economically sick men in the EU? Has Chianti wine become toxic?

    Human Character? Consecutive failure by Italian governments=politics? Lack of implementation of the most “desirable” socioeconomic policies? Unsuccessful fight against corruption? Weak justice system? What is it?

    What is it that the ECB (and US Fed) cannot do in their zone of influence- besides money pumping, introducing zero interests, destroying the incentive to save but spend & live for today because a better tomorrow never comes!

    “Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve. … by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame.”

    Lets blame the EU & Friends and not the Chianti wine!

  5. avatar
    Jordi Moreno

    What are you going to do to remove the growing inequality among people? the inequality will be the big problem of the future and all the governments are looking to another place..

  6. avatar
    Alessandro Lacedra

    I am very glad for this opportunity :)
    In Europe there are several very different countries in terms of their national economic situation. How is it possible to implement the right monetary policy within our diverse currency area?
    Other question, is it true that occupation level is not a priority of the ECB mandate ?
    How would you help national governments to improve the occupation level in their countries?
    Thank you :)

  7. avatar

    I’m 23. Europe’s population is ageing and the current pension system is unsustainable. Is there any point saving for a pension?

  8. avatar

    Abolish the income tax for individuals wo earn less than 1million Euro a year.

  9. avatar

    Why is it that countries which have joined the EU are not using the Euro as a currency, and are there any measures that will impose the use of the Euro in a foreseeable future?

  10. avatar
    Steven Pol

    How are you seeing the future of the euro as a currency with the upcoming populist calls for the older currencies such as the Lira/Gulden/Deutsche Mark

  11. avatar
    Martin Blašťák

    Quite a few EU Member States are not part of Eurozone, though majority of their arguments is based on economic reasons, but there is also an argument that using single currency undermines sovereignty of the state or “rob” state of it’s history. How would you adresa these concerns and what steps can be taken in order to make people feel that Euro is “their” currency?

  12. avatar
    Bastiaan Meijer

    The European Union was founded on the basis of liberal, capitalist principles. The ‘freedoms’ the European Union offers us are not freedoms for the many, they are tools for the rich to gain money. The free movement of capital and people has changed the demographic of countries forever. The economic crisis proved that the euro in this form has no future. A new economic crisis, which is inevitable, will throw some countries in an even more devastating state. My question to the ECB would be: why would we hold on to a currency that is doomed to fail? Why are we not thinking about reforming the currency and creating a EU that works for the many, not the few?

  13. avatar

    I am an immigrant from Nigeria and I live in the Netherlands. I have no debate question however, I want to thank the EU for providing an exceptionally satisfying educational system. I am benefiting quite a lot from the system, educationally, financially and career-wise. I hope to give back in the nearest future.

    • avatar
      EU Reform- Proactive

      Hi Rachel, great to hear! But please bear in mind that education is a “national competency” within the “EU concept” and you should thank the Netherlands for that privilege.

      The EU is not a sovereign country- as Nigeria or the Netherlands is- but a legal concept only! Sorry, we Europeans are a bit complicated!

  14. avatar
    Camila Cavagnoli

    I’m not a European citizen, but my personal view about Euro is that it is a trustful currency and shows stability in the eyes of the foreign investors, especially in Brazil. I would recommend focusing on small business development in order to decrease social inequality in EU, since it is an effective way of solving the problem in a long term.

  15. avatar

    There is a challenge for countries that recently converted to euro. However, besides being convenient and simple, the prices went up greatly. Furthermore, the prices of basic goods are rising and in some cases doubled or tripled in three years, but the salaries are stagnant and the living standards are degrading. What can be done to keep the costs and living conditions at the same rate?

  16. avatar

    What [concrete policies] does ECB have regarding the future of young people in terms of loans and [collateral]?

  17. avatar

    Create the conditions of a tonic economy with common tax and social policies renegociations of trade agreement with China… Less norms…

  18. avatar

    Conscription is on it’s way for the European army. Europe in my mind has become a little America.

  19. avatar

    The Europe cannot be a financial institution. The UE needs to be DEMOCRATIC and SOCIAL, so, it have to be the OPPOSITE of what it is now!

  20. avatar

    Europe will rise despite the EU. EU is the tool of the elite. Never heard of Benoît Coeuré, don’t even know what language he speaks or what country he is from

  21. avatar

    Have fairer trade relations with developing countries and stop taking advantage of them. While you are at it, stop letting people drown in the Mediterranean.

  22. avatar

    Europe can do nothing for me, as it is a landmass.
    The other countries of Europe can be friendly and trade with my country.
    The EU can stop grabbing at my country’s sovereignty.

  23. avatar

    Europe can change, and become democratic and sensible again.
    Stop demonizing “populism” and stop praising “plutocracy”. Stop endorsing USA’s export of “democracy” to countries which don’t give their oil reserves to USA-corporations for free. Stop being naive.

    • avatar

      Europe is the name of a continent.
      The European Union is a technocratic totalitarism, it can not change. It must dissolve.

    • avatar

      Dissolve and give us our freedom back.

  24. avatar

    How about inspecting and taking over corrupt states, lawyers, bankers and so called leaders.

  25. avatar

    Don’t ask Yourself what can Europe do for You, but rather what can You do for…

  26. avatar

    Ensure that housing is a social right and that every country has an abundance of social and affordable housing. You are failing us in this regard!

  27. avatar

    When you going to stop undermine euro purchasing power with eurobonds and printing money out of thin freaking air???

    • avatar

      never gonna happen. It makes them rich and powerful

  28. avatar

    I wonder who wrote the title: what can Europe do for…
    This implies helplessness and non productivity as well as reminding the young generation what society

  29. avatar

    EU exist at the moment only for people who work for it.

  30. avatar

    What can the ECB do to effectively respond to the negative socioeconomic shocks resulting from the euro, for instance, the drastic increase in youth unemployment in some Eurozone countries since the 2008 crisis?

  31. avatar

    In my opinion, the European Union has been doing quite well in my country. Initially, the European Union funded a lot of work in my city and helped make significant progress. The European Union also seeks the rule of peace among other peoples and tries to achieve the expulsion of the torturer.

  32. avatar

    Europe can start with a earnest apology,these poor saps who’ve been unlucky enough to have been born in the last twenty years aren’t the generation that introduced this disastrous currency.But they are the generation that are going to have to live with the economic consequences when it’s either eventually dismantled,or be hit with increased taxes to bale out the member states that can’t exist inside the monetary union.

  33. avatar

    What are the ECB’s views, if any, on the economic impact of migration flows into the European Union?

  34. avatar
    Brenda Lee Galea

    What are the ECB’s views on the relationship between environmental sustainability and economic growth?

  35. avatar

    Within the context of an economy which is slowing down, when does the ECB expect to fully stop its quantitative easing (QE) policy and which possible negative effects are to be expected in Europe?

  36. avatar

    Within the context of the economy which is slowing down, when does the ECB expect to fully stop its quantitative easing (QE) policy and what could be the negative effects for European countries?

  37. avatar
    Leah Vella

    Do you see any connection between the ECB’s monetary policy in the aftermath to the Great Recession and populism?

  38. avatar
    Neil Farrugia

    What are the ECB’s views on the relationship between inclusiveness and economic growth?

  39. avatar

    Is the ECB’s mandate too restrictive?

  40. avatar
    Arthur Corazza

    What role for the social dimension in EMU? Young workers are some of the first to feel the pain of a recession and the current setting of EMU those little tangible to change that.

    1.) Fiscal rules tie member states hands when anti-cyclical action would be needed most. A common fiscal capacity to cushion (mostly symmetric) shocks has been much discussed and would support the youth. If not the Eurocrisis, what is needed to make the common unemployment insurance a reality? Which form should it take?

    2.) As the currently most ambitious EU-level initiative in that regard, the European Pillar of Social Rights builds on a ‚market-constituting‘ rationale for social policy in EMU and as such views atypical jobs as desirable. While this is the right approach in some instances, others face inferior conditions and prospects. How can the Eurozone reconcile quantity (employment) with quality of work life (secure and meaningful jobs) for the young?

  41. avatar
    Ava Abhelakh

    Most euro using countries are slowly becoming cashless societies.

    Will that have a negative affect on the ECB?

  42. avatar
    Erica Maria Caruana

    : Political developments in Europe suggest that young people tend to be sceptical about the EU’s top-down approach to economic policy design. They are understandably wary of concentrations of political power and would prefer a bottom-up approach. Your views please.

  43. avatar

    The ECB ended the period of asset purchase program on December 2018. Can we officialy say that the financial crisis of 2008 is about to finish? How will this impact on European young people?

  44. avatar
    Erica Caruana

    Political developments in Europe suggest that young people tend to be sceptical about the EU’s top-down approach to economic policy design. They are understandably wary of concentrations of political power and would prefer a bottom-up approach. Your views please.

  45. avatar

    Stop mass migration in to the E.U would be a great start to rebuild an European Europe.

    • avatar

      Freedom to comply and nod, yes.

    • avatar

      no we have no freedom, only gentle concessions by Our Majesty Juncker which can be revoked at will.

    • avatar

      I want all the cultures and countries free again! All friendly but all have their own country, their cultures!! I want my country back. Tired and sick of these lies of what the EU was funded on

  46. avatar

    They will be revoked, once the EU Enforcer Corps (Grand Army of the Federation) is established, its loyalties lying solely with the Comission

  47. avatar

    Finish with the neo-liberal capitalism and replace it for a more social – democracy!

    • avatar

      That will never happen as the true goals of the neoliberal democracy and capitalism are beyond most of the public knowledge

    • avatar

      Stop fascism?

    • avatar

      Nothing, the European Union should go back to being the EEC

    • avatar

      You probably would prefer EFTA

    • avatar

      In concept yes

    • avatar

      I understan and respect your view. EFTA did a fine job to liberalise trade. In my opinion one must go further now. But I accept that many are not prepared to such a big step to a Federal Republic of Europe.

  48. avatar

    “What can Europe do..?
    Getting a bit ahead of yourself aren’t you.
    The EU is NOT Europe.

  49. avatar

    dont you think it would be a great idea to have 9may (europe day) off all over Europe. like an European 4th july (evryone loves holidays that would make europe popular and would be fair regarding the fact that those who work for the european institution allready have that day off

  50. avatar

    Very glad I can participate to this debate.
    Europe is amazing and I strongly believe in its success to the diverse emerging crisis .
    I was wondering how Europe will do to retain its talents and attract foreigners?
    When will we have a fiscal union (is it sustainable in the long term)?

    I think Europe doesn’t work for many people because they’re not feeling europeans and don’t want to share others’ issues (don’t want to pay for others’ debt, don’t want to help another country manage its borders…). How can we remedy to this issue?

    Why refusing a merger between Alstom and Siemens? Why not staying competitive against others?

    Europe is amazing, but we need unity, and this will come with this kind of mergers. (in my opinion)

    • avatar
      EU Reform- Proactive

      Hello Alexis,

      are you a typical “Euro born kid/gen”- not knowing the difference between EU28 the Euro19 and Europe/CoE47- despite so many on this forum have explained & pointed that out?

      Ever heard that the Euro is a currency strictly “owned” by some in the EU/ECB not Europe?

      How can that be? Deliberate? Do you understand even the “basics” in EUro land?
      Such lack & confusion would amount to a “catastrophic fail”- by any standards! Even by the “EU sponsored Erasmus” education department!

    • avatar

      Hello EU Reform- Proactive,
      I am a typical “Euro/born kid/gen” who strongly believes in the principles behind the European Union. I know the differences and I don’t know why you imply such things. I heard by some the currency was “owned” but I would love you to further describe what you imply. Why is it so catastrophic? Would you rather have your own currency, likely to be very weak against others?
      or maybe you just don’t believe in the principles of Europe.

    • avatar
      James McManama

      Hi EU Reform,

      I’m not a typical “Euro born kid/gen” (having been born way back in the mists of time).

      I’ve followed you on the forum, and I like you (I don’t know you, but I appreciate your comments). But, honestly, I think you’re being pedantic about this “EU / Europe” thing. The US is also called “America”, we speak of “American TV”, the “American government”, etc., etc. Likewise, we sometimes say “Britain” or the “British government” when we mean the UK. Imagine if I corrected you everytime you said the “British government” by pointing out you actually mean “Her Majesty’s Government” (an unelected Majesty, btw!).

      I also wouldn’t say the Euro is “owned” by some in the EU/ECB. You mean that they set monetary policy? Because, in that case, the Bank of England (which also sets monetary policy) also “owns” the pound.

      Also, your last paragraph is just patronising.

    • avatar
      EU Reform- Proactive

      Hello Romain,- are you standing in for Alexis? OK- then!

      There is nothing wrong to believe in “certain” EU principles. I did notice in Alexis’s response that he constantly referred to Europe but meant the European Union (EU)- and that is just WRONG & inaccurate!

      I suffer from a severe “political allergy” when caused by “misrepresentation” and react accordingly! Please guys be accurate! EU law is pedantic accurate, stinging & on the “supranational overtaking” lane!

      Look at your red Passport- it says “European Union”- NOT EUROPE. Why?
      “Catastrophic” refers to the lack of understanding under the youth. The EU currency is another matter!

      I constantly fight with myself to keep my comments as short as possibly- but most of the time I fail! It is my endeavor to REMAIN accurate! (No connection with the UK “remain-ers”!) That’s my trade mark- sorry!

      If you are interested & got time to broaden your horizon how trade & banking evolved in “Europe” check out the “Ephrussi & Rothschild” history:

      Or read the the book called “The Hare With Amber Eyes” by Edmund de Waal.

      The “newborn” blue cheeked ECB baby is “owned” by 19 National Reserve banks = therefore partly “owned” & controlled by its National States= citizens= you & me) & maybe some hidden ghosts of the Rothschild’s. Accurate enough?

      Sorry, but I can only refer you to more info due to limited space & time!
      I am handing you over to some good “Quora answers”- for further explanation:

    • avatar
      EU Reform- Proactive

      Hi James,

      don’t worry about the “mists of time”! It only has advantages!

      I highly appreciate the “privilege” having successfully used technologies from “the slide rule” and mechanical calculator times- progressing smoothly via the first HP35 to today’s variety of electronic gadgets! How many are so privileged? The poor Millennials?

      For us (European “in continental” Nations- as “Tarquin” refers to us)) who agreed at the end of the 20th century to leave & join the EEC/EU in OUR once in/out referendum (after the UK joined already in 1974)- based purely on “economic reasons”- not social, political, monetary or military ones! This “goalpost” has been shifted constantly without consultations or our consent! I will not forget that!

      It was OUR generation- using OUR accumulated experience & hard work- who allowed & set the path we are in today! Therefore, we as the “enabling generation” must retain an oversight & give valuable input for the future! Some of these ungrateful “youngsters” wish the previous generation would be dead & buried! How disrespectful, immature or plain stupid!

      The USA evolved quite differently from the EU concept. We- not so “ancient” Europeans” have our fingerprints all over the formation of the USA!

      Just “imagine” the ridiculous idea of a- gone mad- EU Commission one day proclaiming the USA legally as part of the EU= “not Europe”, because the majority were all Europeans some time ago! Weird! OK, forget it!

      The language you speak in “Her Majesty’s Commonwealth realm” (the last vestiges of the British Empire etc, etc- tease you- I must) is one= English, while we “In-continentals” have no such advantage.

      The EU is a concept & was peacefully created by law, legal means & treaties- the British Empire (please choose your own name!) by the sword, wars & blood. Europe evolved similar as your Empire- through wars & blood! The US was also forged by a civil war & blood into one= the United States of America. There are differences & similarities.

      And- the “EU Erasmus” endeavor= program is only one tiny effort to “integrate” the variations within the EU28 into one “harmonious” future super state called USE- specifically targeting/bribing (free travel) the EU youth which are politically “pliable”

      Unfortunately, I have to put an end to our deliberations as not to abuse my public limit! Greetings & good luck with your BREXIT!

  51. avatar

    As the UE ask to the nation when they want to join UE, to integrate the OTAN Pact, the Europe Union should ask of all nations of UE to be real democratie and add in all constitutions the People Initiative Referendum.

  52. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    Let me “finally” end my contribution as follows:

    I refer and like to add another dimension to our historical ancient banking history, “the money-changers” and the narrative of the “cleansing of the Temple”- dating back to the times when a famous son of Nazareth developed our basic Christian ethical compass & principles! Relax, I am not a religious freak!

    I neither need the celebrated political and atheist EU- nor Europe for such insight! America did not exist then! Please, draw your own conclusions! Why fall head over heals- without reservations- in love to recent plagiarism & copies of ancient wisdom?

    Today, these ancient “Money-changers” have become the “Lobbyists” and modern “Bankers” who are frolicking inside the “temple of modern democratic power”

    This formula applies: pc ≠ ethics

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