EU and World Bank experts meet to discuss financial reporting reform for western Balkans

27 May 15

Finance leaders from the western Balkans and representatives of the World Bank and European Commission are to come together to discuss the future of financial reporting in the region.

Talks being held today and tomorrow in Vienna aim to provide an opportunity for senior officials to discuss the key issues of financial reporting and to launch a new programme to meet EU standards and stimulate growth.

Ellen Goldstein, World Bank country director for South East Europe, said: ‘Transparent and accurate financial reporting is a pre-requisite for serious investors and improves access to credit for expansion and job creation.’

She added that restoring economic growth and making it more inclusive by creating jobs and removing barriers to the labour market were top priorities for the countries in the western Balkans.

The regional programme, called the Road to Europe: Program of Accounting Reform and Institutional Strengthening (EU-REPARIS), is funded by the EU. It will support participating countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia and Serbia – to modernise their financial reporting systems and align them with EU rules.

Henri Fortin, head of the World Bank’s Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR), added: ‘As candidates or potential candidates for EU enlargement, the REPARIS countries have made significant progress in aligning their financial reporting frameworks with that of the EU.

‘The new programme will help them complete this process with a focus on SMEs which represent more than 99% of businesses in the region. We look forward to supporting countries in developing their accountancy professions and creating regulatory systems conducive to SME growth.’

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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