Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No commercial constellation will create this Single Market milestone

Migration to E-invoicing is the the by far most topical step for improving enterprise productivity – especially in face of rapidly declining workforce in EU. “Cutting enterprise administrative cost in half” is the main goal – improving competiveness by offering digital services, reducing fraud and lowering CO2 are other other important aspects.

But working for creating a true Single Market – especially in this context -  is a dimension that should get much more attention. What it is all about is the body of e-invoicing – the network of interlinking service providers (using the ISO-standard) – sign up with one and you can reach all and be reached by all (just like payments).

We have now for many years been trying hard to get commercial constellations on EU-level to get together to create this network. On national level this has been possible – but no PAN-EU progress has been made. It is thus very clear that it is the task of the EU commission to take the initiative – and use the Expert-Group-suggested Multistake holder forum to get the job done. Market forces alone cannot be counted on to build this kind of Single Market infrastructure.