The European Commission has made the case for governments and inter-governmental organisations increasing their influence over cross-border accountancy bodies, such as the International Accounts Standards Board (IASB).
In a green paper on financial services, Brussels said that ‘the debate about the future governance, funding and political accountability of global standard-setting bodies … are of growing political importance’. It added: ‘Public oversight of these structures must be strengthened, to ensure appropriate reflection of stakeholders, satisfactory transparency, due process and sustainable financing’.
This Green Paper on Financial Services Policy (2005-2010) also suggests that the European Union (EU) builds on its work with the USA on harmonising accounting standards internationally ‘by strengthening financial relations with Japan, China and … India’.
This could involve the EU using political leverage gained from offering financial services market access to foreign governments within bilateral and multilateral trade deals ‘to influence the regulatory parameters of the emerging global financial market’.
Considering the mature stage of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Doha Development Round, ‘Europe has a major strategic opportunity to influence the regulatory parameters of the emerging global financial market’, said the paper.
Looking at proposed EU reforms that are already being discussed, the Commission stressed the need to ‘strengthen disclosure when using … offshore financial centres’.
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