ECB Youth Dialogue at Trinity College Dublin

Before returning to college I was asked by the School of Economics at Trinity College to attend the second ECB youth dialogue. This new initiative by the ECB seeks to involve younger generations to the ECB and its policies. By opening a direct dialogue with President Draghi, students on campus and on social media.

A selection of Trinity economic students were asked to prepare questions and 6 were chosen by President Draghi’s administration. I got the impression that questions were heavily screened and that questions directed at current ECB policy were avoided for obvious reasons. I feel that after asking Draghi a question it would be hard to be satisfied with the response. The dialogue was opened but this can often raise more questions. The opportunity to extend on a question or response was not there.

This initiative is a step in the right direction to tapping into the innovation that new generations can bring to monetary policy, however more opportunity to extend upon the discussion should be made available. I hope that in future events like this, we will see more debate from both students and Draghi.

I asked President Draghi if he thought that new technologies specifically blockchain had a role in monetary policy in the future. Draghi’s main concern was that it is a new technology which could affect its security which is, of course, no surprise. I was disappointed that I could not ask him to look past his current concerns allowing us to discuss what it could do for monetary policy. Or let him know that his cyber security concerns are unwarranted due to the decentralized aspect of the blockchain.

In this year’s ECB Capital Markets mid-term review, they addressed the need to support the development of blockchain technologies. They discussed using Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) to manage the financial industry and provision of services.

Overall, it was an honour to meet the man widely considered as responsible for the eurozone recovery and be part of this new action from the ECB.