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European Commission takes Belgium to court over electronic money

21 November 2012  |  8952 views  |  0 EU building, Brussels

The European Commission has referred Belgium to the Court of Justice in Luxembourg for failing to implement EU rules on electronic money.

The EU Directive on electronic money, which is aimed at lowering barriers to entry for new market players, was adopted in September 2009 and had to be implemented in all EU Member States by 30 April 2011.

Electronic money is defined under the Directive as a digital equivalent of cash, stored on an electronic device or remotely at a server.

In referring Belgium to the Court, the Commission says the country has failed to implement rules on "the taking up, pursuit and prudential supervision of the business of electronic money institutions".

The Commission has also asked the Court to impose daily penalty payments of €59,212.80 on Belgium until it fully implements the Directive.

In a statement, the Commission argues: "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."

In April, the Commission threatened six EU member states - Belgium, Spain, France, Cyprus, Poland and Portugal - with legal action unless they took steps to comply with the rules.

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