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Parliamentary questions
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15 March 2021
E-006151/2020(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Dombrovskis
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-006151/2020

The Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) are pursuing their efforts towards ensuring a strong and vibrant European digital finance sector and a well‐integrated payments sector to respond to new payment needs in the EU. Taking account of digitalisation, rapid changes in the payments landscape and the emergence of crypto‐assets, the ECB is exploring the possibility of issuing a digital euro, as a complement to cash and payment solutions supplied by the private sector. The ECB published in October 2020 a report of the Eurosystem’s High-Level Task Force on a digital euro and launched a public consultation. The latter closed on 12 January 2021 and registered high interest.(1)

The Commission agrees with the Honourable Members that to reap the benefits of a digital euro, it is key to address any potential challenges for EU policies, such as those related to financial intermediation and stability, to the crowding out of private sector payment solutions, to financial inclusion, to anti-money laundering and to counter terrorism financing, to data privacy, and to the conduct of monetary policy. Already in December 2019, the ECB published a research paper, which explored technical solutions for anonymity in central bank digital currencies.

The Commission and ECB services will jointly review at technical level a broad range of policy, legal and technical questions emerging from a possible introduction of a digital euro, taking into account their respective mandates provided for in the EU Treaties.

The Parliament will also have a fundamental role in the process of discussing the framework that would be necessary to introduce a digital euro.

(1)https://www.ecb.europa.eu/euro/html/digitaleuro-report.en.html
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