On Tuesday, June 12th the European Commission published a report on the on the impacts of restrictions on payments in cash. This report is the result of a 2-year consultation on the issue, which included a public consultation as well as the commissioning of an impact study to an external contractor.
This study was part of the Action Plan to further step up measures against the financing of terrorism and the Commission was asked “to explore the need for appropriate restrictions on cash payments exceeding certain thresholds”.
The combined results of the impact study and public consultation speak loud and clear against cash restrictions:
- limiting the use of cash would not prevent terrorism financing
- Europeans would consider any EU-level restrictions as a breach of their personal freedom (94.94% respondents said so)
- The heterogeneous nature of current restrictions at the national level have a negative impact on the internal market
- Restrictions could eventually be useful in combatting money laundering, although “the impact of a cash restriction on money laundering in general, cannot be precisely quantified” (p.6)
Thanks to these finding, the European Commission “is not considering any legislative initiative on this matter” (p.9).