New EU finance laws hit translation bottle-neck

Link: ICAEW backs revised EU audit directive

The EU Council of Ministers has already accepted a six-month delay for two accountancy-related directives.

These are the transparency directive on information requirements for securities issuers, and a package that extends the committee structure regulating the securities sector since 2002 to banking, insurance and investment funds (UCITS).

Instead of seeing the laws come into force this month, ministers have formally delayed adopting them until the autumn.

The problem, admitted the council, was ‘delays in translating the legislation’ into the 20 official languages of the expanded EU, which now includes such linguistic rarities as Maltese, Estonian and Latvian.

EU legislation must be translated into every official language of the union for it to come into force in all member countries.

The delays are especially embarrassing for the union, given the political impetus behind securing approval for the laws, which are essential elements in the EU’s Financial Services Action Plan.

Council officials have said that translators have prioritised translating old laws to take account of the EU’s enlargement.

The transparency directive would give the European Commission the authority to create new rules for assessing the equivalence between international accounting standards and the different national standards of the EU member states.

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