While in general EACB members agree that EU legislation has led to a considerable degree of harmonization in the pillars underpinning corporate reporting, there is however no uniform company law in Europe, despite increasing efforts. Given large variations due to 1-tier and 2-tier board systems, we see the need for correspondingly adapted solutions. Furthermore, audit is over-regulated, which makes market access for smaller auditors more difficult and leads to a reduction in the number of PIE auditors across Europe.
As regards the external position of the audit committee, it must be absolutely ensured that members of cooperatives who are also shareholders are not excluded from being members of an audit committee. The cooperative shareholders usually hold small amounts of capital, which does not affect their independence of mind as outlined in the ECB Guide to fit and proper assessments.
In order to increase the quality of the statutory audit in the future, EACB suggests that the information content of the inspection reports should be expanded to include suggestions for improvement. Overall, the system of oversight should create an environment in which continuous development of audit quality is possible.