The Case of Harmonized Public Sector Accounting Standards for European Union Member States
Financial crisis has emphasized the need for harmonized public sector accounts in Europe. After a public consultation on the suitability of the IPSAS for EU Member States, the European Commission considers that the proper way is the development of European Union Standards adapted to IPSAS (renaming it EPSAS). As a consequence, the issue of the governance for the future development of EPSAS was identified as a priority for follow-up. A first meeting of a Task Force of experts delegated from EU national governments took place in October 2013 to exchange views on possible future governance arrangements. On the basis of that discussion, Eurostat launched another public consultation named; ‘Towards implementing European Public Sector Accounting Standards for EU member states-Public consultation on future EPSAS governance principles and structures’. This paper seeks to provide an in-depth understanding of the negotiations and interactions that took place prior to, during and after the issuance of the public consultation on the ‘Suitability of IPSAS’. The focus of this paper is therefore on a systematic analysis of the construction of regional-transnational governance of public sector accounting, using the EPSAS as a focus of study. In doing so it is sought to identify the institutional pressures, trace the actor dynamics, as well as strategies enrolled leading up to the IPSAS consultation and consultation about governance at the European level. The method of the paper will be based on document review.