Karel van Hulle has been moved out of his position as head of financial reporting and company law at the European Commission after 20 years of working in accountancy and audit for the body.
Accountancy Age has learned that the man responsible for driving the commission’s project on international accounting standards has finally fallen victim to the commission’s policy to rotate its key personnel.
But the move leaves a key part of the body rudderless as Europe prepares to move to a single set of financial reporting standards next year.
The man once described as Europe’s version of the US Securities and Exchange Commission will now focus on insurance in Brussels, but will continue to occupy his old role on a dual basis for a short time.
It is thought that it could be several months before his replacement is appointed.
‘Karel has been in his role for as long as anyone can remember and the changeover was long expected,’ said Dr Martin Manuzzi, the ICAEW’s Brussels director.
‘One can see the benefits of doing this now before the EU legislative directory gets into full swing on the eighth directive,’ he added.
Despite the commission’s policy of rotation roughly every five years, many will see this move as an attempt to start afresh with the accounting profession and business throughout Europe, following the damage done to relations over the implementation of the controversial standard on financial instruments.
No representatives of the commission were available for comment.