E-Invoicing is a public policy priority of the European Commission and in a recent publication of December 2010 ‘Reaping the benefits of electronic invoicing for Europe’ the Commission confirmed plans to pursue a number of policy initiatives including the establishment of a European Multi-Stakeholder Forum for E-Invoicing. One good reason to organise a trade association is to seek representation and participate in this and other Forums. In addition there are a number of other high level objectives:
• Promoting interoperability and the creation of an interoperable eco-system
• Advocating and supporting the wide adoption of e-invoicing and its benefits
• Representing the industry, engaging in the public policy debate and recommending best practice within appropriate European forums
Providing services to its members European trade associations are a very common form of interest representation operating in the non-competitive space as a cooperative under the statutes of a not-for-profit association. A typical European trade association will usually conduct the following activities, in return for a value-for-money subscription:
• Leadership: Provide a robust governance framework and a strong team to gather and represent views and do the follow-up. The leadership team needs good skills in persuasive diplomacy, strategy, communication, EU knowledge, daily management, networking and industry expertise.
• EU Public Affairs: Keep abreast of the regulatory framework, make timely decisions, create consensus through teamwork, build coalitions, adapt to new conditions and always behave ethically and transparently
• Communications: Create a communications infrastructure, master digital communications and social media, and deliver rapid response media capabilities, stakeholder engagement, timely internal communications, well-managed events, and visually appealing materials.
• Added value: Develop EU influence, information and intelligence, industry promotion, standards and best practice development, conferences and training.
Interoperability Working Group
Public Policy Working Group
In April 2012 EESPA was invited by the European Commission to join the European Union Multi-Stakeholder Forum on E-Invoicing, which was created in 2011.
EESPA is very grateful for this opportunity to represent the supply side of the Industry in this important Stakeholder Forum.
EESPA will be represented by Esa Tihila, Chair.
Charles Bryant, the Vice-Chair is also present in the Forum as a delegate from the UK.
More details on the Forum can be accessed at: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/ict/e-invoicing/benefits/index_en.htm