Commission Looks to Strengthen Standard-setting Bodies for Accounting and Auditing

The European Commission (EC) has adopted a set of decisions to strengthen the supervisory framework for EU financial markets, in order to improve supervisory co-operation and convergence between Member States and to reinforce financial stability. Under the new rules, the three committees that supervise, respectively, the securities, banking and insurance sectors will benefit from a clearer operational framework and more efficient decision-making processes. In addition, the EC proposes that these committees, as well as key bodies involved in the standard-setting process for financial reporting and auditing at both EU and international level, should be provided with financial support from the EU budget so that they can achieve their objectives as rapidly and efficiently as possible. The proposal for financial support now passes to the Council and the European Parliament for consideration.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, said: “The financial crisis has demonstrated the need to further strengthen EU supervisory arrangements and has reminded us of the importance of transparency and independence, especially when setting financial reporting and auditing standards. An essential move in this direction is to reinforce the role of key bodies in these fields, at both European and international level, and to provide them with financial support. Additional reforms may be needed in relation to the EU supervisory framework, in particular in the light of the forthcoming recommendations of the High Level Expert Group chaired by Jacques de Larosière and other work under way.”

The EC is proposing the establishment of a Community programme, providing direct funding from the Community budget to the three EU Committees of Supervisors (CESR, CEBS and CEIOPS) and to key international and European bodies involved in the standard-setting process for financial reporting and auditing. These bodies are the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation (IASCF), the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and the Public Interest Oversight Body (PIOB).

The contributions would amount to €36.2 million and would cover the period 1 January 2010 until 31 December 2013.


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