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Brussels, 12 July 2007

Accounting: Commission report shows progress on standards convergence in key partner countries

The European Commission has published a report on the work underway in Canada, Japan and the United States on convergence between their national Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAPs) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) used in the EU. The report also contains some preliminary information on convergence work in other important jurisdictions. Under EU accounting rules the Commission is required to inform the European Parliament and European Securities Committee regularly about the progress on convergence and of progress on the elimination of reconciliation requirements that apply to EU issuers.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: "I draw encouragement from the progress made in these important partner countries. It shows that we are on the right track. I welcome all initiatives that pave the way for IFRS to become the global accounting standard."

In the report the Commission welcomes the recent announcement by the United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) of proposed rule changes to allow IFRS-based financial statements to be filed without any reconciliation to US GAAP. However, the Commission recalls its general objective of removing this reconciliation requirement for European issuers using IFRS as adopted by the EU. At the same time the Commission calls for deeper co-operation and regular meetings between the EU and US to establish staging posts and take stock of ongoing developments.

The Commission is also encouraged by the positive developments in Japan, Canada, China and India.

The EU is the largest jurisdiction making use of IFRS and fully supports a move towards common worldwide accounting standards.

The report is available at:

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