The reasoning followed by the CJEU to reach this conclusion deserves some closer look. According to the CJEU,
31 ... the option for a Member State, when transposing Directive 2000/35, of excluding contracts concluded before 8 August 2002, as the Italian Republic did [...] is expressly provided for in Article 6(3)(b) of that directive and, when exercised, that option has the effect of rendering all the provisions of that directive inapplicable ratione temporis to those contracts.In my view, the reasoning of the CJEU at para 32 of Federconsorzi can be challenged regarding amendments of pre-existing credits that take place during the period of (unexcludable) validity of the Directives. An alternative reading would be that Member States are allowed to keep pre-existing credits as they were prior to 8 August 2002, but they cannot reduce commercial creditor protection because that goes against the very explicit goals of the Directives on combating late payment in commercial transactions.
32 Furthermore, modifications to the disadvantage of a creditor of the State, made by a legislative act adopted during the period prescribed for transposition of Directive 2011/7, of the interest on a debt arising from the performance of a contract concluded before 16 March 2013 may not in any event be regarded as being capable of seriously compromising the attainment of the objective pursued by that directive (see judgment in Inter-Environnement Wallonie, C‑129/96, EU:C:1997:628, paragraph 45), as Article 12(4) of that directive gives Member States the option of excluding contracts concluded before that date, and the Member State concerned could therefore consider exercising that option.
33 Consequently, it does not follow from the obligation to transpose Directive 2011/7, nor can it be inferred from Article 12(3) of that directive, allowing Member States to retain or adopt provisions more favourable to the creditor than the provisions necessary to comply with that directive, or from Article 7 of that directive, on abusive agreements, terms or practices, that a Member State which has made use of the option under Article 6(3)(b) of Directive 2000/35 may not modify, to the detriment of a creditor of the State, during the period prescribed for transposition of Directive 2011/7, the interest on a debt arising out of the performance of a contract concluded before 8 August 2002, without prejudice, however, to the possibility of there being remedies under domestic law against such a modification (C-104/14, paras 31-33, emphasis added).
That could easily be squared with the Inter-Environnement test of compromising the objective pursued by the Directives, given that it originally was to "prohibit abuse of freedom of contract to the disadvantage of the creditor. Where an agreement mainly serves the purpose of procuring the debtor additional liquidity at the expense of the creditor ... these may be considered to be factors constituting such an abuse" (rec 19 Dir 2000/35), and did not change later (if not to stress the objective to avoid abuses) with its 2011 rewording: "[t]his Directive should prohibit abuse of freedom of contract to the disadvantage of the creditor. As a result, where a term in a contract or a practice relating to ... the rate of interest for late payment ... is not justified on the grounds of the terms granted to the debtor, or it mainly serves the purpose of procuring the debtor additional liquidity at the expense of the creditor, it may be regarded as constituting such an abuse" (rec 28 Dir 2011/7, emphasis added).
Consequently, I think that once again the CJEU has taken an easy way out in order to provide legal certainty to Member States at the expense of substantive compliance with EU law.
However, the Federconsorzi Judgment at least clarifies two points regarding Directive's anticipatory effect: 1) that it is alive and kicking, in terms of it being a general principle of EU law that, during the period of transposition of a Directive, Member States must refrain from any legislative measure that may "be regarded as being capable of seriously compromising the attainment of the objective pursued by that directive"; and 2) that the easiest option for Member States to avoid that anticipatory effect is to include cut-off deadlines in the Directives themselves.