Brussels sues Portugal for neglecting to pay businesses on time.

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The European Commission has decided to refer Portugal and Slovakia to the European Court of Justice for failing to timely pay companies for the delivery of products and services.

The European Commission has decided to refer Portugal to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for failing to pay companies on time for products and services delivered.

“Following extensive monitoring procedures carried out in 2022, the Commission has now decided to bring actions against Portugal and Slovakia before the CJEU, given their continued non-compliance,” the European Commission announced in a statement on Wednesday.

The Commission asserted that in the case of Portugal, the action was taken “due to the rules on late payment that apply to multiple levels of public administrations.”

Following the 2017 introduction of the procedure, Brussels “has closely monitored the situation, but considers that there has not been sufficient improvement, particularly in the two autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira.”

Public authorities in the 27 member states must pay invoices within 30 days (60 days for public institutions) per the Late Payment Directive.

The Commission added that “businesses, especially small and medium-sized ones, depend even more on regular payments to be able to operate” and maintain employment in the current economic climate, which is recovering from the downturns caused by the pandemic, inflation, and the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine.

This European institution warned that “late payments have a negative impact on businesses because they impede growth, undermine resilience, and can impede efforts to become more green and digital.”

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