From Worse to Worst? How Late Payments Squeeze SMEs’ Liquidity

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Tuesday, 11 May, 2010 - 09:00
CEPS - Centre for European Policy Studies 1 Place du Congrès / Congresplein 1000 Brussels

This ECRI Breakfast Meeting gave participants the chance to discuss the latest findings of Intrum Justitia’s forthcoming 2010 European Payment Index, an annually published report on the payment behaviour of consumers, business and the public sector.

The results of the survey, presented by Intrum CEO Lars Wollung and author Madeleine Bosch, fed into the discussion of Rapporteur Barbara Weiler’s draft report on the Commission proposal to revamp the current legislation on late payments.

This breakfast meeting was hosted by ECRI on 11 May 2010 and was co-sponsored by Intrum Justitita.

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Karel Lannoo has been chief executive of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) since 2000 and senior research fellow since 1997. He is a member of the European Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee (ESFRC) and has published widely on EU and financial regulation matters. He holds an MA in history from the University of Leuven, Belgium (1985) in and a postgraduate degree in European studies from the University of Nancy, France (1986). Karel Lannoo is an independent director of BME (Bolsas Y Mercados Espanoles), the company which runs the Madrid stock exchange.

RECOVERY? LATE PAYMENTS STILL FATALLY HURTING SMEs - Results from the European Payment Index 2010

Lars Wollung is CEO and President of Intrum Justitia. Before joining the group he was CEO and President of the management and IT consulting company Acando, which he co-founded. For nine years he worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company with international assignment in fields such as corporate strategy, organizational changes and operational improvement programs. He is chairman of the board of directors of Transia AB and Mountainlife AB and served on the Board of Directors of Intrum Justitia before his appointment as CEO. Lars Wollung holds a M.Sc. in economics from the Stockholm School of Economics and a M.Sc. in engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Madeleine Bosch is Head of EPI Research at Intrum Justitia, where she is responsible for the annual production of Intrum Justitia’s “European Payment Index”, a survey covering thousands of companies in 25 European countries on a variety of payment risk issues. Before joining the provider of credit management services six years ago, Ms Bosch worked in general management and marketing & sales positions in the telecoms industry. She holds a university degree in business administration and economics.

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL? - The new Late Payment Directive

Barbara Weiler has been a Member of the European Parliament since 1994, now serving her fourth term for the Group of the Party of European Socialists. Prior to her European engagement, Ms Weiler held management positions in the industry and was active as town councillor in the German city of Willich from 1975-1985 before being elected to the German Bundestag in 1987. The former member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Delegation of the EU-Malta Joint Parliamentary Committee is now working on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. Ms Weiler is the rapporteur for the recasting of the Directive on combating late payments in commercial transactions.


Massimo Baldinato joined the Cabinet of Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, in 2008. Holding a law degree from Padua University, hr was admitted to the bar in 1999 and began his professional career as a consultant to companies and public authorities in the fields of public procurement, intellectual property and EU regulation of state aid. Mr Baldinato served as Coordinator of the Public Procurement Working Group in the framework of the 5th Phase of the EuroMed Market Programme and for the European Institute of Public Administration. Since joining Tajani’s cabinet, he has authored several publications on EU regulation of public procurement and is particularly engaged in work on SME financing.

Othmar Karas is Member of the European Parliament, Vice-President and Treasurer of the EPP-Group. As an MEP, he serves on the Committee for Economic and Monetary Affairs, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the Special Committee for the Financial, Economic and Social Crisis, in which he is the EPP coordinator. Since 2004, he has also been chair of the SME intergroup and in 2009, was elected President of the Kangaroo Group. Prior to his election to the European Parliament in 1999, Mr Karas worked several years in the banking and insurance sector and served as Secretary General of the Austrian People's Party. He studied political and communication science at the University of Vienna as well as European and international business law at the University of St. Gallen.

Luc Hendrickx has served since 2000 as Director of Enterprise Policy and External Relations at UEAPME, the European employers’ organization, which represents the interests of crafts, trades and SMEs at EU level. He is a member of the EFRAG SME Working group. From 1997 until 2000, he was member of cabinet of the Flemish Minister of Environment and Employment. In 1998 he joined UNIZO, the Belgian SME organisation, as Legal Counsellor. Between 1992 and 1998, he was also professor at the Flemish Economic High School in Brussels. He started his career in 1986 as a salesman in his sister’s do-it-your self shop. Mr Hendrickx has a Law degree from the Catholic University of Leuven, a Diploma from the Institut Européen des Hautes Etudes Internationales of Nice and a Masters degree in European Studies from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

John Wilkinson has acquired over 25 years of experience in the medical devices and diagnostics industry. He held senior positions in Becton-Dickinson and Ohmeda, before becoming Chief Executive of a medical imaging start-up venture. This was followed by four years as Director General of the Association of British Healthcare Industries in the United Kingdom. His global and regional operational responsibilities in the past have given him insights into healthcare markets worldwide. In addition, he has lived and worked in the United States. Mr Wilkinson has given expert testimony to the UK Health Select Committee on such issues such as the cost benefits of new medical technologies and the speed of, and barriers to, adoption of new innovations within the NHS. He also served on the joint-secretariat with the UK Department of Health for the Healthcare Industries Task Force (HITF). He was appointed Chief Executive at Eucomed on 1 April 2008.