Belgium summoned to court over electronic money

European Commission calls for action over electronic money

Belgium is being referred to the Court of Justice of the EU for its failure to implement a Directive on the taking up, pursuit and prudential supervision of the business of electronic money institutions (view press release). The action has been taken by the European Commission which has also called on the Court of Justice to impose daily penalties of €59,212.80 on Belgium until it complies with the Directive.

Despite being warned in April of this year, Belgium has not implemented Directive 2009/110/EC which is designed to lower barriers to entry into the electronic money market for new competitors. It was adopted in September 2009 and had to be implemented in all EU Member States by 30 April 2011. Electronic money is defined as a digital equivalent of cash, stored on an electronic device or remotely at a server.

The Commission believes that: “If the Directive is not fully implemented in all Member States, companies cannot reap the benefits of a clear legal framework designed to strengthen the internal market while ensuring an adequate level of prudential supervision.”

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