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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

How to make late payers pay: Presentation of a report on enforcement measures

17 April 2024 10:00-11:00 (CET) Zoom

Enforcement measures are an important tool to combat late payments. By imposing financial or reputational penalties for non-compliance with agreed-upon payment terms, they help deter bad payment behaviour and promote a culture of financial responsibility and fairness. Additionally, they serve to compensate creditors for damage caused by late payments.

The Late Payments Directive allows creditors to claim interest and recovery costs when facing delayed payments. However, most of them do not exercise those rights out of fear of harming the relationship with their clients. This is particularly true of cases in which there is an unbalanced power relationship, with an SME providing a product or service to a larger company which is one of its principal clients. The process is also cumbersome in terms of time and resources, often involving a court case. As a result, most late payments in the EU go unpunished and companies delay their payments without fearing any consequences.

During this webinar, we will present a report which explores the ways in which Member States have implemented the Late Payment Directive, and showcases enforcement regimes that go beyond what is prescribed at EU level. A discussion will follow, focused on how to build an effective enforcement system to deter late payments.

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Agenda:Enforcement measures

Presentation of the 2023 Annual Report: The state of late payments in the EU

March 2024 16:00-17:00 (CET) Zoom

Late payments in B2B and G2B transactions have multiple damaging effects, particularly on SMEs. They can affect the liquidity of companies which can prevent investment and expansions, and they can hinder digital and environmental transformation initiatives. They can contribute to financial woes and may even lead to bankruptcies. In addition, late payments lead to more late payments as it might not be possible for companies to pay their suppliers until they themselves are paid, hence exacerbating a vicious cycle.

The European Payment Observatory of commercial transactions (EU Payment Observatory) was set up in 2023 at the initiative of the European Commission to monitor trends and developments on payment performance and behaviour in commercial transactions in the EU to combat late payments.

During this webinar the first annual report of the Observatory will be presented. The annual report provides a comprehensive analysis of the trends in payment behaviour in commercial transactions in the EU from 2019 to 2022, an analysis of the collected data, and an assessment of the various initiatives and documents put forward across the EU to combat late payments.

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Agenda annual report 2023

30 days (or pay) Policy Workshop : Building a EU prompt payment culture in commercial transactions

30 days (or pay) Policy Workshop : Building a EU prompt payment culture in commercial transactions

14 November 2023 15:30-16:30 (CET) Bilbao

EVERY SECOND at least 500 invoices are issued in the EU – half of them are paid late.

Late payments affect every sector and every EU Member State, disproportionately impacting SMEs. Each year across Europe, thousands of SMEs go bankrupt waiting to be paid, with jobs being lost. As a result, the whole EU Competitiveness is at stake.

On 12 September 2023, the Commission put forward a proposal for a Regulation that, once approved by the European Parliament and the Council, will replace the current “Late Payment Directive”. With this proposal, the EU is stepping up its fight against late payments in commercial transactions, for the benefit of SMEs and the overall economy.

During the session the first Annual Report of the EU Payment Observatory will be presented, together with information on its functioning and the ongoing work.

The session will focus on three key issues for the successful implementation of the new rules and, ultimately, for a progressive shift towards a culture of prompt payment: 1) how data can support effective monitoring and enforcement, 2) the role of business organisations , 3) the challenges and needs for some specific sectors: wholesale & retail and construction.

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agenda

Monitoring payment behaviour in Europe: The launch of the EU Payment Observatory

Monitoring payment behaviour in Europe: The launch of the EU Payment Observatory

4 July 2023 15:00-16:15 (CET) Zoom

Late payments in commercial transactions have multiple damaging effects, particularly amongst SMEs, causing one out of four bankruptcies in the European Union. The Late Payment Directive, which is currently under review, aims to address this issue and improve B-2-B and B-2-G payment culture. One of the main issues identified since its adoption in 2011 is the lack of monitoring tools which hampers enforcement.


The new EU Observatory of Payments in Commercial Transactions (“EU Payment Observatory”) aims to fill that gap. It will monitor trends and developments on payment behaviour in commercial transactions in the EU and provide a repository of relevant initiatives and policy documents in the area of late payments. The Observatory will also be a place to exchange ideas, opinions, knowledge and best practices and to promote the importance of reducing late payments.


During this webinar the EU Payment Observatory will be presented as well as its first report on preventive measures. A discussion will follow on the need to develop monitoring tools that increase
our understanding of the factors underlying payment behavior, national experiences with Observatories and effective ways to promote greater transparency and accountability on payment
practices.

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agenda

 

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