European Council: make haste with e-invoicing and e-payment. Not with data protection. [UPDATE]

October 28, 2013  |  Adoption, Electronic Invoicing, Europe, Payment

consilium 150x143 European Council: make haste with e invoicing and e payment. Not with data protection. [UPDATE]Last week the European Council took place.EU leaders have backed away at their latest summit from a quick implementation of the new data protection directive. The Council stated that completion of the data protection legislation and the cyber security directive was only essential by 2015. Who will tell them about the NSA spying on Merkel?

On the other side, the Council called upon the European Parliament to accelerate work on proposals on e-identification and trust services and on e-invoicing and payment services, so that they can be adopted by the end of the legislative period next spring.  You could download the full conclusions here. However the relevant parts (page 5) are underneath:

  • 7. No efforts should be spared to accelerate work on the pending legislative proposals, in particular the proposals on e-identification and trust services and on e-invoicing and payment services, so that they can be adopted by the end of the legislative period. There is also a need to address the bottlenecks in accessing one’s “digital life” from different platforms which persist due to a lack of interoperability or lack of portability of content and data. This hampers the use of digital services and competition. An open and non-discriminatory framework must therefore be put in place to ensure such interoperability and portability without hindering development of the fast moving digital sphere and avoiding unnecessary administrative burden, especially for SME’s. Providing digital services and content across the single market requires the establishment of a copyright regime for the digital age. The Commission will therefore complete its ongoing review of the EU copyright framework in Spring 2014. It is important to modernise Europe’s copyright regime and facilitate licensing, while ensuring a high level of protection of intellectual property rights and taking into account cultural diversity.
  • 8. It is important to foster the trust of citizens and businesses in the digital economy. The timelyadoption of a strong EU General Data Protection framework and the Cyber-security Directive is essential for the completion of the Digital Single Market by 2015.
  • 9. The modernisation of public administrations should continue through the swift implementation of services such as e-government, e-health, e-invoicing and e-procurement. This will lead to more and better digital services for citizens and enterprises across Europe, and to cost savings in the public sector. Open data is an untapped resource with a huge potential for building stronger, more interconnected societies that better meet the needs of the citizens and allow innovation and prosperity to flourish. Interoperability and the re-use of public sector information shall be promoted actively. EU legislation should be designed to facilitate digital interaction between citizens and businesses and the public authorities. Efforts should be made to apply the principle that information is collected from citizens only once, in due respect of data protection rules.

 Update: 30-10-2013

On 29 October 2013 in Brussels, the High-level Conference “For a business-friendly Public Administration” took place.  José Barros, President of the European Commission, performed a speech in which he said:

“Public finances also have everything to gain from innovation. Let me just take two examples:

  • The adoption of e-invoicing in public procurement across the European Union could lead to substantial savings. Indeed, the Commission estimates that it could save up to €2.3 bn across the European Union.
  • Moving to e-procurement can save substantial public money too. Contracting authorities and entities that have already made the transition to e-procurement commonly report savings between 5 and 20%.

Given the size of the total procurement market I mentioned earlier, each 5% saved could return around €100 billion to the public purse which is really impressive. Once again, in our meeting at the Heads of State and Government level last week we discussed some cases of success in some of our Member States which have made these reforms of public procurement with very encouraging results.”



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