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ACCA welcomes new measures for the modernisation of the still too-fragmented single Market


28 Oct 2010


Health & Consumers
EU Priorities 2020

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) welcomes the publication of the Single Market Act but asks for clear implementation of measures supporting the creation and growth of SMEs.

In a response to proposals originally drafted by the former commissioner Mario Monti in 'A new strategy for the single market: At the service of Europe's economy and society", Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier has presented today over 50 new measures constituting the Single Market Act. This is designed to contribute to the full completion of the common market for goods, services, persons and capital and to relaunch competitiveness while restoring the European public's confidence.

Roger Acton, ACCA Director Europe and Americas says: "The Act is in fact a collection of commitments and aspirations relating to many different technical issues. What we would like to see emerging from this broad plan is a clear focus on the part of the EU to pursue those measures which will best equip the EU to meet the serious challenges that it currently faces, and to prioritise those measures which will most help to encourage business activity and employment. In particular, we look forward to seeing concrete measures taken to support the creation and growth of SMEs, which are the backbone of the European and global economy and which are crucial to Europe's economic recovery".

ACCA is pleased to see the Commission's commitment to bringing forward measures designed to improve the business environment. The two accounting directives are now over thirty years old and are in need of overhaul: we welcome the plans to do this. The proposal to link up the various national business registers will help improve the ability of individuals and businesses alike to access corporate information. And the promised review of the European Company Statute, and the introduction of new legislation on the European Private Company, offers new scope for encouraging business activity on a cross-border basis. We also welcome the Commission's undertaking to take early action to follow up its recent work on corporate governance reform.

The Act also plans proposals on the basis of the recently published Green Paper on Audit, which is currently consulting on the future role of audit and how it needs to evolve to maintain its value for stakeholders in the wake of the financial crisis.

Roger Acton adds: "ACCA supports real and transparent measures that reduce administrative burdens for SMEs, making compliance easier and less expensive. We fully support the EU's aim to conduct a root and branch examination of the Fourth and Seventh Directives, based on a clear evidence base of how SMEs survive and flourish, and how this can be improved in the future. We urge opinion formers and policy makers to “think small first” and to bring forward concrete measures.

“The challenge will now lie in the implementation and the willingness of EU institutions – including the national parliaments - to collaborate, especially when it comes to ambitious deadline targets and the conformity of national laws with European Single Market Directives by 2012 . ACCA looks forward to participating in the public debate on the measures set out in the Act”, Roger Acton concluded

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For further information, please contact:

Cecile Bonino
tel:+32 (0) 2 286 11 37
mob: +44 (0) 7809595008

Notes to Editors

1. ACCA is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. We have 362,000 students and 131,500 members in 170 countries worldwide.

2. ACCA has worked with governments, national organisations and development agencies in emerging economies- for over 20 years- promoting the accounting profession, to create value for the communities, businesses and individuals it serves.

3. ACCA believes that globalisation of business means that one set of reporting standards is essential. We favour the principles-based IFRS.

4. ACCA understands the real issues facing small businesses as 63,000 of our members work in SMEs or small partnerships worldwide.

5. More information on