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New EU presidency must not let opportunities slip by, warns ACCA

Date

21 May 2010

From July 1, the onus falls on Belgium to lead Europe through a period of change, says global accounting body

1 July 2010 will see Belgium begin its six-month stint as rotating president of the European Union’s Council. In order to see Europe through a period of change, says ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), the new presidency must realise the long-standing goal of a coherent EU voice: both at home and abroad.

With little over one month to go before Spain hands over the mantle, ACCA has drawn up its recommendations for the coming six months. These cover:

          o Implementing the Lisbon Treaty and Europe 2020 framework

          o Support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)

          o Better Regulation

          o Accounting standards

          o Financial regulation and corporate governance

          o EU budget priorities

          o EU crisis resolution mechanisms

          o Sustainability and climate change

“In-house, the roll-out of the Lisbon Treaty and the ‘Europe 2020’ development strategy, as well as the upcoming budgetary review, will need continuous oversight and impetus,” says Roger Acton, ACCA’s Regional Director of Europe and the Americas. “And at a global level, the presidency must redeem the disappointing outcome of the Copenhagen climate change summit, where Europe appeared fractured and failed to secure any binding commitments. Belgium needs to articulate a single, strong voice on the EU’s behalf at the Mexico summit in December.”

However, ACCA warns that Belgium may be distracted from its EU remit by its own political woes. “The re-ignition of linguistic disputes in April means that Belgium’s assumption of the presidency could coincide with domestic elections,” says Roger Acton. “The process of forming a government may well be protracted, and preclude for that time the level of leadership required to push through the EU’s internal and external agendas.”

“The Greek debt crisis threw usually latent divisions between member states into sharp relief. But now more so than ever, the EU must act as a unit. There are important opportunities and challenges coming up over the next six months, and Europe cannot let them slip by.”

-Ends-

For further information, please contact:

Cecile Bonino

tel:+32 (0) 2 286 11 37

mob: +44 (0) 7809595008

cecile.bonino@accaglobal.com

Notes to Editors

         1. ACCA’s discussion paper on theh Belgian Presidency is available at: http://www.accaglobal.com/pubs/about/public_affairs/unit/european_briefings/belgian_presidency.pdf

         2. 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.

         3. 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.

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

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

Cecile Bonino

Public Affairs and Media Relations Officer-EU ACCA

CBI business house

14 rue de la Science

BE-1040 Brussels

tel:+32 (0) 2 286 11 37

mob: +44 (0) 7809595008

http://www.accaglobal.com

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