Sprache ändern: English

The “Digital Euro” does not deserve its name!

European Parliament Freedom, democracy and transparency Press releases

Pirate Party MEP and digital freedom fighter Dr Patrick Breyer criticises yesterday’s draft bill by the EU Commission to introduce a “Digital Euro”:

“The introduction of digital cash would be long overdue in the information age. Digital cash could be as anonymous and freely usable on the internet as notes and coins. However, the ‘digital euro’ now proposed by the Commission does not deserve that name. Digital technology is to be misused to monitor, limit and control our finances to an extent never seen with cash.

While cash can be accepted and spent anonymously at any time, which is important for undocumented refugees, for example, it will only be possible to receive and spend digital euros with an account against presentation of identification. While people are allowed to hold and pass on unlimited amounts of cash, the amount of digital euros in our hands will be limited in the future. And while with cash even confidential payments and controversial donations have so far been possible anonymously and without fear of becoming known, trace-free payments in digital euros are to be completely impossible online and limited offline to an unknown and ever-changing amount. The declared aim of fighting money laundering and terrorism is just a pretext to gain more and more control over our private transactions. Where every payment is recorded and stored forever, there is a threat of hacker attacks, unauthorised investigations and chilling state oversight of every purchase and donation.

Cash is financial freedom without pressure to justify spending. What medicines or sex toys I buy is nobody’s business. For thousands of years, societies around the world have lived with cash that protects privacy. The EU Commission wants to deprive us of this financial freedom for online payments. In the legislative process, this birth defect must be corrected. We need to find ways to take the best features of cash into our digital future.”