My suggestion for the CEF Telecom 2017-3 call for proposals on e-invoicing

On 28 June 2017, the CEF Telecom call 2017-3 opened, including a call for proposal for B2G e-invoicing. (A webinar recording on EU funding and grants for e-invoicing is available here:

The call aims to promote the uptake of compliant e-invoicing solutions by public and private entities, which will facilitate the implementation of the finalised an published European standard (EN) on electronic invoicing and the set of ancillary standardisation deliverables, as mandated by the e-invoicing Directive.

Three activities will be supported by €4 million under this call :

  1. Uptake of e-invoicing solutions compliant with the new EU standard on e-invoicing and its ancillary documents by public entities
  2. Update of e-invoicing solutions compliant with the new EU standard on e-invoicing and its ancillary documents by solution providers and public authorities
  3. Integration of eDelivery services
    All proposals should address eDelivery for the purpose of document delivery by deploying the eDelivery Building Block or proving the use of eDelivery through a service provider for cross-border communication as the minimal accepted scope. Support for the integration of eDelivery services will only be awarded if carried out in conjunction with activities 1 or 2 above.

Literally on the same day CEN officially published the new EU e-invoicing standard 16931. And a few days later, its ancillary documents. Now, both the newly published EU standard on e-invoicing as well as the CEF Telecom call on e-invoicing have the same ambition: maximum adoption of B2G e-invoicing based on the new standard. However, the IP rights on the new standard are held by CEN, which implicates that you’d have to buy these mandatory documents in order to be able to use them. Even though the hard work was funded by EU community money…

Doesn’t it feel a bit weird that EU community money (!) was spent on a new standard that is aimed be used by everyone, mandated (!) in the EU, but that is not freely available (!) because CEN holds the IP rights (!), and meanwhile there is €4 million available to promote adoption of this standard?

So…..this is my proposal for the next call: Why not use some of the €4 million in this funding to buy the copyrights of the new EN-16931 standard (and related documents) from CEN and make the standard and its ancillary documents publicly available under Creative Commons?





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