Digital Euro Legislative Amendments Released

February 16, 2024
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Stefan Berger, the rapporteur for the Single Currency Package, has released his amendments to the digital euro legislation, touching on topics such as merchant fees.

Stefan Berger, the rapporteur for the Single Currency Package, has released his amendments to the digital euro legislation, touching on topics such as merchant fees. 

Berger, a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) faction, published his amendments to the EU’s digital euro legislation last week.

Amendments suggested by the German MEP mainly change the original text’s “payment account” to “wallet”, in the context of how citizens will be able to access the digital euro and amending the lowercase “d” in digital euro to a capital letter. 

Regarding the fees for a digital euro, Berger has said that they should be “proportionate to the objective of ensuring competition between payment means and an effective use of the Digital Euro as a legal tender means of payment”.

Berger has also pushed for more innovative approaches to the digital euro, saying that “conditional payments in Digital Euros may also be carried out on permissionless distributed ledgers where until now only privately issued assets like crypto-assets or stable coins are available as a means of payment”. 

With the approval and under conditions set by the European Central Bank (ECB), Berger said that the digital euro should be made available as a token to be referenced on “these chains”, while adding that international standards should be taken into consideration.

Berger has also said that as a default, the ECB should enable eligible distributing payment service providers to offer to their digital euro users their own payment solution. 

“The ECB front-end should service as a back-up solution for payment service providers that are not in position to offer a proprietary front-end,” the amendment says. 

Further, Berger also said that “to facilitate the smooth access of the Digital Euro infrastructure of the ECB, its technical specifications should be adequately documented, and a summary should be made available by the ECB”. 

“To enable the Digital Euro payment service providers to adequately prepare their access and to solve any possible technical problems, the ECB should enable eligible distributing payment service providers to test the access to the Digital Euro infrastructure prior to the date on which the Digital Euro will be launched,” the amendment says.

“To ensure the interoperability of different technological communication solutions, the ECB access interface should use standards of communication which are developed by international or European standardisation organisations including the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) or the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).”

MEPs now have until February 20 to add additional amendments to the legislation. 

As reported by Vixio, lawmakers on the ECON committee had a steely exchange with Piero Cipollone, who is at the helm of the digital euro project at the ECB, whereby MEPs said that they were unpersuaded by the use case for a digital euro. 

One also said that they were sceptical about whether MEPs would be able to come to a compromise on the legislation. 

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