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Sharon Bowles votes to improve governance and accountability of European accounting standard setters Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 March 2014

Today in the European Parliament in Strasbourg Sharon Bowles MEP, Chair of the Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, voted to approve EU funding streams for three quangos tasked with setting accounting standards that European banks and other companies have to adhere to.

These funds, which equate to around 50 million Euros over a six year period, will go to the IFRS Foundation, an international standard setter, and EFRAG, a European advisory group on how international accounting standards are incorporated into EU law.

Questions have been raised by the European Parliament about the governance structures and lack of transparency of these bodies, as well as their close links to the accounting industry.

The release of these EU funding streams will therefore only be forthcoming upon sufficient reform to prevent conflicts of interest, which will bring about much needed trust and scrutiny on how these highly influential public bodies operate.

Speaking from Strasbourg today, Sharon Bowles MEP said:

“My parliamentary colleagues have done a great job in highlighting the much needed reform of these accounting quangos, which will improve public confidence in how accounting standards are implemented in Europe.

“We have, for the first time, shone a light on how bodies such as the IFRS Foundation and EFRAG are constituted and governed, which has not made for pretty reading.

“Any potential conflicts of interest have to be weeded out and if they are not then the Parliament has shown that it has the power to withhold funding, which sends a powerful message.

“The European Commission also has a very important role to play in ensuring reform happens, and it is of vital importance that Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier’s successor listens to the Parliament’s concerns when the new Commission is appointed in the autumn.” 

(Source - Sharon Bowles Press Release)


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