The European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) are teaming up to consider potential issues that could arise from the digital euro before a decision is made to kick off the digital currency’s development this summer.
The two European Union institutions now plan to cooperate on “exploring the possibility of issuing a digital euro, as a complement to cash and payment solutions supplied by the private sector,” according to a joint statement from the ECB and the European Commission on Tuesday.
The ECB is to decide whether to set the project in motion sometime in mid-2021, they said.
“Such a project would answer key design and technical questions and provide the ECB with the necessary tools to stand ready to issue a digital euro if such a decision is taken,” the joint statement reads.
As reported by EU policy-focused news service EURACTIV on Wednesday, the ECB closed the public consultation on its plans for the digital euro on Jan. 12, which found privacy was a primary concern among 41% of respondents.
Both institutions will consider the “policy, legal and technical questions emerging from a possible introduction of a digital euro,” they said in the joint statement.
EURACTIV said it “understands” employees from the European Commission including Financial Services, Economy, and Digital Affairs, will now be drawn into a new working group with the ECB for the collaboration.
ECB President Christine Lagarde said earlier this month she expects the digital euro to launch in no more than five years.