Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission
The Commission shares the view of the Honourable Member regarding the importance of properly taking into account the public interest in the IFRS standards setting.
In its written contribution to the first consultation on the strategy Review undertaken by the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation, the Commission stressed that legitimate public policy objectives must be given appropriate consideration ex ante in the standard-setting process, while recognising that the primary objective of accounting standards is to deliver decision-relevant information to investors, other participants in the world's capital markets and other users of financial information. A key challenge is to ensure that the IASB’s mission of producing high-quality accounting standards should not undermine other important policy objectives. These include prudential regulation and financial stability. The Commission suggested that this may imply a revision of the respective provisions in both the IFRS Foundation’s constitution and in the IASB’s conceptual framework in order to give due consideration to such public policy objectives, including a revision of the current definition of the public interest within the Constitution of the IFRS Foundation. The Commission will repeat this message in its contribution to the second consultation document published by the Trustees.
In any case, as required by Article 3(2) of the EU Regulation on the application of international accounting standards(1), the Commission adopts international accounting standards issued by the IASB if they are conducive to the European public good. However, the regulation does not foresee the possibility for the Commission to set accounting standards itself. This would undermine the objective of achieving a single set of global high quality international financial reporting standards.