- stresses the need to take particular account of the advantages that could arise from widespread dissemination of electronic invoicing. Those benefits will need to be shared fairly amongst all categories of business, but especially SMEs;
- calls on the Commission to speed up the process of the new legislation on electronic signatures and wonders whether it would not be appropriate to adopt a regulation rather than a directive;
- recommends that the interests of SMEs be protected in terms of payment of VAT, which should be linked to the payment of the electronic invoice rather than a certain date of issue;
- supports the widespread and rapid adoption of electronic invoicing, but believes that this should remain optional; the coexistence of two schemes with equal legal value, i.e. electronic and paper invoicing, should enable everyone to choose the one that best fits their specific requirements;
- calls on the Commission to adopt global standards for electronic invoicing;
- recommends that the PEPPOL pilot project should be rolled out further, permanently connecting those areas where electronic invoicing is already a reality;
- considers that E-business projects funded by the EU should include a mandatory requirement that a certain percentage of all pilot projects must include SMEs.
Finally, the EESC welcomes the establishment of the European forum on electronic invoicing and is open to taking part in its work.
For more information please contact the INT Section Secretariat