Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis on behalf of the European Commission
In its digital finance strategy and its retail payment strategy1, the Commission supported the idea of exploring a central bank digital currency. On 14 July, the Commission welcomed the decision taken by the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) to launch the digital euro project and start its investigation phase.
A decision on the possible establishment, regulation and issuance of a digital euro can only be made after the involvement of all relevant institutions (including the European Parliament), and after having conducted rigorous analyses to examine the possible impacts on the economy and society.
The protection of personal data and consumers’ rights will be one of the most important considerations. Privacy is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
The digital euro would be a complement to cash, which should remain widely available and useable.
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.
The Commission will be transparent when developments occur, as demonstrated by the release of a joint ECB-Commission statement on 19 January 20212.