The Commission welcomes the decision taken by the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) to launch the digital euro project and start its investigation phase. This phase will look at various design options, user requirements and at how financial intermediaries could provide services building on a digital euro.
The digital euro, a digital form of central bank money, would offer greater choice to consumers and businesses in situations where physical cash cannot be used. It would support a well-integrated payments sector to respond to new payment needs in Europe. Taking into account digitalisation, rapid changes in the payments landscape and the emergence of crypto-assets, the digital euro would be a complement to cash, which should remain widely available and useable.
It would support a number of policy objectives set out in the Commission’s wider digital finance and retail payments strategies including the digitalisation of the European economy, increase the international role of the euro and support the EU’s open strategic autonomy. Based on the technical cooperation with the ECB initiated in January, the Commission will continue to work closely with the ECB and the EU institutions throughout the investigation phase in analysing and testing the various design options in view of policy objectives.