Bolkestein presses ahead with audit reforms
Frits Bolkestein, the European Union's internal market commissioner, has vowed to continue with his controversial reform of audit committees despite British business concerns.
In an interview with the Financial Times newspaper, Bolkestein said that the days of self-regulated audit committees in the boardroom were coming to an end.
Accounting scandals at Enron and Parmalat had forced the need for change because the ‘dangers involved are simply too great’ he said.
He said Brussels was motivated by the need to avoid another accounting scandal.
The Commission has proposed legislation across the European Union forcing listed companies to have independent directors on their audit committees.
This conflicts with current practice in Britain where there are voluntary national codes of conduct regulating behaviour.
A final decision is expected by November but business leaders in the UK have called for a compromise.