A comparative analysis of legal measures vs. soft-law instruments for improving payment behaviour - Study
Directive 2011/7/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on combating late payment in commercial transactions (hereinafter 'the Directive') was adopted on 16 February 2011 and was due to be integrated into the national law of EU countries by 16 March 2013 at the latest. The Directive aims to protect businesses, in particular SMEs, from the detrimental effects of late payment and to improve their competitiveness. Evidence continues to show that in commercial relations, businesses, especially SMEs, are reluctant to exert these rights. In response to calls from EU level business... organisations to address this persistent problem or through own initiative actions, some Member States have implemented sets of measures aimed at supporting the national laws that transposed the Directive. These measures can be broadly categorised as: Structural/ legal measures in the form of 'hard' law ; Voluntary/ 'soft' measures with no legally binding nature. This study made a mapping of all these measures. It extrapolated from them a set of recommendations indicating as to whether the provisions of the Directive, relevant to B2B transactions, are fit for purpose and whether other actions and policies, outside the scope of the Directive, can actively support the achievement of its objectives in the B2B environment. An executive summary in German and French, jointly with a comprehensive list of the literature used for the study, are provided in the “Related publications” to this study.