European Commission proposes digital euro
The European Commission has put forward two proposals as part of a "single currency package" to ensure that individuals and businesses can continue to access and pay with euro banknotes and coins throughout the euro area, and to establish a framework for a possible new digital form of the euro that the European Central Bank could issue in the future as a complement to cash.
The package includes a legislative proposal setting out the legal framework for a possible digital euro to complement euro banknotes and coins. It will ensure that people and businesses have another choice in addition to the current private options allowing them to pay digitally with a widely accepted, cheap, secure and resilient form of public money in the euro area.
If the European Parliament and the Council adopt the proposal, it will ultimately be up to the European Central Bank to decide whether and when to issue the digital euro.
The package also includes a legislative proposal on the legal tender status of euro cash to safeguard the role of cash and ensure that it is widely accepted as a means of payment and remains easily accessible for people and businesses throughout the euro area.
The services of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission are jointly examining at a technical level a wide range of policy, legal and technical issues arising from the possible introduction of a digital euro, taking into account their respective mandates and independence as laid down in the Treaties.
In the context of the EU's digital transition, the digital euro could support the EU's strategies on digital finance and retail payments described above, given its potential as an additional, innovative and secure means of payment. The digital euro could also enhance the international role of the euro and support the EU's open policy space.