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Supporting EU legislation with data

The European Payment Report provides vital data and insight to the EU Commission which is about to decide on a possible revision of the Late Payment Directive.

Late payments from business and public authorities have negative effects on European growth and employment and in 2011 the European Union adopted the European Late Payment Directive in order to combat this. Input from Intrum Justitia and in particular the annual European Payment Report (EPR) has been and continues to be of paramount importance to the EU in evaluating and developing the directive.

-The EPR is unique in its kind and has been important in raising awareness in the European Commission of the importance of timely payments and their impact on growth and jobs. The commission  values this type of neutral statistics highly and has come to rely on it a great deal, both for making and evaluating policy, says Kajsa Stenström, a lobbyist based in Brussels who acts as liaison with the EU institutions on behalf of Intrum Justitia.

The EPR and other Intrum Justitia reports are frequently and extensively used in various assessments carried out by the EU Institutions, such as the ongoing Late Payment Directive evaluation, of which a draft was published in November 2015. That evaluation will be part of the Commission’s decision on whether a full revision of the directive is necessary.

-The kind of unbiased and neutral data that the EPR contains is difficult to get and although they have attempted to collect data themselves I would say that the EPR today constitutes the statistical backbone when it comes to developing and evaluating the situation of late payments in Europe, says Kajsa Stenström.

As soon as the EPR is released she always passes a copy  on to relevant and interested officials in the commission and other EU institutions. In addition, Intrum Justitia presents at and participates in various EU conferences and panels on the late payment topic.

Kajsa Strenström maintains regular contacts with the commission to explore what topics are being discussed, what is on the agenda and how Intrum Justitia could be of service with information or insight.

-I am Intrum Justitia's eyes and ears in the EU machinery in many ways and Intrum Justitia is well respected for their expertise in EU circles, says Kajsa Stenström.

The late payment directive was scheduled to be fully implemented in all member states by 2013 but the implementation has been slow which is one of the reasons that it is still difficult to evaluate the impact, and also likely to cause a delay in the revision.

There is only scant evidence that the directive so far has had any impact on payment behavior. One reason could be that companies may be afraid to exercise the rights conferred by the Directive due to fear of damaging business relationships.

The directive stipulates maximum payment periods and gives creditors the right to charge late payers interest and compensation for recovery costs.