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European accountancy stakeholders defend EFRAG’s role and record against EU Commission plans of “streamlining”

Accountancy stakeholders from across Europe have responded strongly against plans from the European Union (EU) Commission of “streamlining” the endorsement process of accounting standards in the EU by giving the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) an advisory role.

The suggestion of giving ESMA such a role was included in a consultation by the EU Commission on the operation of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs). However this role is currently held by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), and respondents to the public consultation seem to be satisfied with the current state of affairs.

Most respondents said there were taken by surprised by this consultation considering that the EFRAG reform had been carefully implemented two years ago. The EFRAG reform was born out of the Maystadt Report which suggested, amongst others, the transformation of EFRAG’s structure as well as reinforcing the technical group’s position to represent EU interests in the international standards-setting arena.

In their response, the Dutch Accounting Standards Board said: “The question appears to start from the presumption that the current endorsement process needs to be made more effective and efficient. We see no arguments being presented in the consultation that motivate why this process is currently not sufficiently effective and efficient.”

The consultation documents are available on the EU Commission website.

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