What the EU is doing and why
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. However, the digital euro would be a complement to cash, which should remain widely available and useable.
The European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission services are jointly reviewing 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 and independence provided for in the Treaties.
In the context of the EU’s digital transition, the digital euro could support the EU’s digital finance and retail payments strategies described above, given its potential as an additional, innovative and safe means of payment.
The digital euro could also increase the international role of the euro and support the EU’s open strategic autonomy (see the Commission Communication of 19 January 2021).
Policy making timeline
- First quarter 2023NEXT STEP - Legislative proposal
The Commission plans to adopt a legislative proposal on a digital euro for the EU.
- 7 November 2022NEXT STEP - High level conference
The Commission and the ECB jointly organise a high level conference entitled "Towards a legislative framework enabling a digital euro for citizens and businesses".
- 5 April 2022Consultation
The Commission launches a targeted consultation on a digital euro.
End date: 16 June 2022
- 14 July 2021Investigation phase
The ECB launches the investigation phase of the digital euro project. The investigation phase consists of looking at the various design options, user requirements and at how financial intermediaries could provide services based on the digital euro. During this phase, the Commission will continue to closely cooperate with the ECB on analysing and testing the various design options in view of policy objectives.
- 12 October 2020Consultation - ECB
The ECB launches a public consultation on a digital euro.
End date: 12 January 2021