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EU: Commission appeals against Belgium, Greece and Italy

H European Commission decided to refer Belgium, Greece and Italy to the Court of Justice of the European Union for improper application of the rules under the Late Payments Directive (Directive 2011/7/EU). The Late Payment Directive obliges public authorities to pay their invoices within 30 days (or 60 days for public hospitals).

The delays payments they have a negative impact on businesses, reducing liquidity, hindering growth, hindering resilience and potentially hindering their efforts to become greener and more digital. In the current economic environment, businesses, especially SMEs, rely on regular payments to operate and maintain employment.

The Commission is referring Belgium to the Court of Justice of the EU over late payments by public authorities, particularly those in Wallonia. In the case of Greece, the Commission refers it to the Court due to delays payments from public hospitals (civil and military) to their suppliers.

The Commission is also referring Italy to the Court due to national legislation and practice that excludes the rental of surveillance equipment for criminal investigations from the scope of the Late Payments Directive. The exemption means that suppliers of these services have no guarantee of payment within the statutory deadlines and are prevented from exercising their rights under the directive.

Also, the European Commission decided to refer Greece to the Court of Justice of the European Unionbecause it did not provide updated flood risk and hazard maps flood, as required by Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks (“floods directive”). Article 14(2) of that Directive obliged Member States to review and, if necessary, update their flood risk maps and flood risk maps by 22 December 2019, while, in accordance with Article 15(1), Member States- members had to notify the Commission of the review and, where appropriate, the update of those maps three months after that date, i.e. by 22 March 2020.

Finally, the European Commission decided today to refer Greece again to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to close a landfill on the island of Zakynthos within a Natura 2000 protected area. The landfill poses a threat to public health and the environment and pollutes the local environment. Although the landfill has not been operational for more than five years, it must not only be closed, but also rehabilitated in order to comply with a 2014 Court order.

Source: News Beast

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