Laying one’s cards on the table in Europe - financial reporting by European governments

Published on: 10 May, 2011

This is an English translation of an article by Hans Hoogervorst and Frans van Schaik published in Dutch in 'Het Financieele Dagblad' on 11 May 2011.

Hans Hoogervorst will be the chair of the IASB (International Accounting Standards Board) as from 1 July 2011. Frans van Schaik is a member of the IPSASB (International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board) and a Deloitte partner.


Time and again we are surprised by European member states needing emergency loans. The financial statements published by European governments provide too little information for a proper assessment of their financial position and performance. Comparability of the European governments’ financial statements is limited because governments are free to prepare their financial statements following their own country-specific policies. So, high time to improve their transparency and comparability by requiring all European member states to prepare their financial statements in compliance with international accounting standards for the public sector.

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