Language of document :

Action brought on 14 February 2018 — European Commission v Italian Republic

(Case C-122/18)

Language of the case: Italian


Applicant: European Commission (represented by: G. Gattinara and C. Zadra, acting as Agents)

Defendant: Italian Republic

Form of order sought

The Commission claims that the Court should:

declare that, by having failed and by continuing to fail to ensure that the public authorities avoid exceeding the time limits of 30 or 60 calendar days for paying their trade debts, the Italian Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under Directive 2011/7/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 on combating late payment in commercial transactions (OJ 2011 L 48, p. 1) and, in particular, its obligations as set out in Article 4 of that directive;

order the Italian Republic to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

The evidence before the Commission, which is based on the information provided by the Italian Republic during the pre-litigation procedure, indicates that the payment periods of 30 and 60 days set out in Article 4 of Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payment have been exceeded, not by individual entities but by entire categories of public authorities, not in relation to one individual commercial transaction but in terms of the average time taken to pay, that is, in respect of all the transactions concluded by those authorities, and, lastly, not over a limited period but consistently, from September 2014 until the date on which the present action was brought. The Commission therefore considers that sustained and systematic infringement of Article 4 of that directive has been established.