Dialogue with standard setters. The harmonization of public sector accounting in the European Union: The EPSAS Project

Sforza Vincenzo/ Financial ReportingRiviste /Fascicolo: 2-2014

On 25 November 2013, the European Commission and its Directorate-General (DG) for Statistics, Eurostat, officially launched a public consultation paper to issue a Framework Regulation related to the EPSAS, the European Public Sector Accounting Standards (Eurostat, 2013a). This is a novelty, which indisputably recognizes the need to provide harmonized accounting standards for the public sector of EU member states. The sovereign debt crisis, especially with reference to the situation in Greece (European Commission, 2010), opened a debate to find solutions to demonstrate government financial stability and improve accuracy and transparency of financial reporting: a) for that which regards the EU institutions, to strengthen the economic governance for the Euro zone, so far rather weak, in order to safeguard economic and monetary union; b) with regard to market participants, to provide owners of government debt securities, potential investors and other stakeholders a full and accurate disclosure of government financial statements, useful to more carefully assess the risk level associated with their investments.  In order to illustrate the reasons for which the European Commission/Eurostat have released their consultation, we will proceed, first of all, by defining the context within which the consolidation of accounts of the EU governments takes place, evidencing the existing accounting diversity: […]


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