The international role of the euro, June 2022

This 21st annual review of the international role of the euro published by the European Central Bank (ECB) presents an overview of developments in the use of the euro by non-euro area residents.

The report covers developments in 2021. During this period, the euro area and other major economies recovered from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic recession. The euro area has experienced one of the steepest recoveries in its history, thanks also to ample fiscal and monetary policy support. Now we face rising global inflation driven by higher energy costs, supply bottlenecks and normalising demand as economies reopen. On balance, however, these developments have not resulted in a significant change in the international role of the euro. On the one hand, the share of the euro in global foreign exchange reserves increased slightly, and the share of the euro in international bond issuance, in outstanding international loans and in outstanding international deposits increased markedly. On the other hand, the share of the euro in foreign exchange settlements declined. The share of the euro in the outstanding stock of international debt securities, as well as in invoicing of both extra-euro imports and exports, remained broadly stable in the review period.

Moreover, the report discusses the implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and of the financial sanctions imposed on Russia for the future of international currencies. The Union’s economic and financial resilience to the current geopolitical challenges can also support the international role of the euro.

The international role of the euro is primarily supported by a deeper and more complete Economic and Monetary Union (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 and publish information on…


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