Full text 
Procedure : 2008/2687(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0626/2008

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 18/12/2008 - 2
CRE 18/12/2008 - 2

Votes :

PV 18/12/2008 - 6.20

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
WORD 36k
Thursday, 18 December 2008 - Strasbourg Final edition
Accounting requirements as regards medium-sized companies

European Parliament resolution of 18 December 2008 on accounting requirements as regards small and medium-sized companies, particularly micro-entities

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Article 192(2) and Article 232(2) of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to the Framework Agreement on Relations between the European Parliament and the Commission of 26 May 2005(1) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 21 May 2008 on a simplified business environment for companies in the areas of company law, accounting and auditing(2) ,

–   having regard to the Commission's communication of 25 June 2008 entitled "Think Small First" – a "Small Business Act" for Europe" (COM(2008)0394),

–   having regard to the opinion of the High Level Group of Independent Stakeholders on Administrative Burdens of 10 July 2008 entitled "Administrative burden reduction; priority area company law / annual accounts ",

–   having regard to its position adopted at first reading on 18 December 2008 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2008/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 78/660/EEC and 83/349/EEC as regards certain disclosure requirements for medium-sized companies and obligation to draw up consolidated accounts(3) ,

–   having regard to the Commission statement on the accounting requirements as regards medium-sized companies made to Parliament during the plenary sitting of 18 December 2008,

–   having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the existing accounting rules laid down by the Fourth Council Directive 78/660/EEC of 25 July 1978 based on Article 54(3)(g) of the Treaty on the annual accounts of certain types of companies(4) (the 4th Company Law Directive) and the Seventh Council Directive 83/349/EEC of 13 June 1983 based on Article 54(3)(g) of the Treaty on consolidated accounts(5) (the 7th Company Law Directive) are often very burdensome for small and medium-sized companies, and in particular for micro-entities (very small companies),

B.   whereas the High Level Group of Independent Stakeholders on Administrative Burdens, in its above-mentioned opinion, has already called on the Commission to exempt micro-entities from the accounting directives,

1.  Reminds the Commission that, while a coherent and harmonised accounting system in the European Union facilitates trade within the internal market, micro-entities are excessively burdened by existing accounting rules; that those companies may, for example, be small retailers or handicraft businesses; that, where those undertakings are active mainly within one Member State at local or regional level, they have no cross-border impact on the internal market or on competition within the EU; and that Member States should therefore have the option of fully or partly exempting those companies from statutory accounting obligations;

2.  Calls on the Commission to present a legislative proposal that allows Member States to exempt from the scope of the 4th and 7th Company Law Directives companies which – on the basis of their balance-sheet data – do not exceed the limits of two of the following three criteria:

   balance sheet total: EUR 500 000
   net turnover: EUR 1 000 000
   average number of employees during the financial year: 10
if the business activities of those companies are conducted at local or regional level within one Member State;

3.  Calls on the Commission, with a view to stimulating simplification and harmonisation of company law and in particular of accounting rules within the internal market, to continue its efforts to review the 4th and 7th Company Law Directives and to present a uniform European accountancy framework before the end of 2009; reminds the Commission that a uniform standard will reduce the administrative burden for all small and medium-sized companies and will increase transparency for all relevant stakeholders, and that simplification should also be greatly stimulated by a structured European introduction of XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language);

4.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission.

(1) OJ C 117 E, 18.5.2006, p. 125.
(2) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0220.
(3) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0631.
(4) OJ L 222, 14.8.1978, p. 11.
(5) OJ L 193, 18.7.1983, p. 1.

Last updated: 1 October 2009Legal notice