An informal foundation meeting was held in Brussels on Thursday (5th May, 2011) of the proposed European E-Invoicing Service Providers Association. In many ways this initiative is long overdue and is a positive indicator of the maturing attitudes of suppliers
to the e-invoicing market.
The event was very well supported - with about 40 people in attendance, including key members of the European Commission. It would be fair to say that most major e-invoicing service providers attended the meeting and were very supportive of the initiative.
There was broad consensus on the key objectives of EESPA - including being a “pro-active pan-European interest representation body on behalf of its members”. There is undoubtedly a lack of representation of the service providers on various initiatives on the
European level and EESPA hopes to provides an effective instrument for the industry to ensure public policy and regulation is sensible and drives the mass adoption of e-invoicing.
For example, on the recommendation of the Expert Group on E-Invoicing, the EC is setting up an European Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Electronic Invoicing. However this forum does not currently include representation from the supply side of the industry. Because
it isn’t clear who should represent the service providers, they have not been invited to the debate.
Excluding the “Stakeholder” who has the most experience of E-Invoicing from the European E-Invoicing Forum is clearly a grave omission.
We hope that with the formation of EESPA, the industry has now found its voice.