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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 21 November 2012

Electronic money: Commission asks Court of Justice to fine Belgium for not implementing EU rules

The European Commission has decided to refer Belgium to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to implement the Directive on the taking up, pursuit and prudential supervision of the business of electronic money institutions. The Commission has also decided to ask the Court to impose daily penalty payments on Belgium until it fully implements the Directive.

Directive 2009/110/EC was adopted in September 2009 and had to be implemented in all EU Member States by 30 April 2011. Most Member States have adopted implementing legislation. However, Belgium has not yet notified to the Commission any national implementing measures. The Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Belgium in April (see IP/12/418).

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.

The Commission proposes a daily fine of € 59 212.80 which would be paid as from the date of the Court's ruling until Belgium notified the Commission that it had fully implemented the rules into national law.

These financial penalties are proposed by the Commission under the Lisbon Treaty and take into account the duration and the gravity of the infringement and the size of the Member State. The final decision on the penalties rests with the Court.

Background

Directive 2009/110/EC aims to:

  • enable new, innovative and secure electronic money services to be designed,

  • provide market access to new companies,

  • foster real and effective competition between all market participants.

This should benefit consumers, businesses and the wider European economy.

The Directive focuses on modernising EU rules on electronic money, especially bringing the prudential regime for electronic money institutions, in line with the requirements for payment institutions in the Payment Services Directive (2007/64/EC).

Electronic money is a digital equivalent of cash, stored on an electronic device or remotely at a server. One common type of e-money is the 'electronic purse', where users store relatively small amounts of money on their payment card or other smart card, to use for making small payments. But e-money can also be stored on (and used via) mobile phones or in an account on the internet.

More information:

Electronic money:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/payments/emoney/index_en.htm

State of transposition of Directive 2009/110/EC for all Member States:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:72009L0110:EN:NOT

Latest information on infringement proceedings concerning all Member States:

http://ec.europa.eu/community_law/index_en.htm

For more information on this month's infringement decisions see MEMO/12/876, and on general infringement procedures see MEMO/12/12

Contacts :

Stefaan De Rynck (+32 2 296 34 21)

Carmel Dunne (+32 2 299 88 94)

Audrey Augier (+32 2 297 16 07)


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