The Strengthening Auditing and Reporting in Countries of the Eastern Partnership (STAREP) was a regional program aiming at creating a transparent policy environment and effective institutional framework for corporate reporting within the countries that make up the EU's Eastern Partnership: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus* , Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. STAREP was launched in October 2013 and closed in December 2022. The program was funded by Austrian Finance Ministry, Austrian Development Agency and the European Union (EU).
The STAREP program supported the launch and implementation of critical reforms to improve the financial reporting frameworks in the beneficiary countries for strengthening the financial management practices in the private sector and among state-owned enterprises, enhancing quality of business advice and auditing by the accounting and auditing profession; and supporting a more conducive business enabling environment and improved access to finance.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted program implementation for both in-country activities and regional events that require face-to-face interaction; many program activities were undertaken virtually. To a large extent starting 2020 the activities were delivered using a mixed approach, virtually and/or face-to-face when the situation allowed. The Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was another challenge impacting the program, while despite the above challenges the program objectives were achieved.
STAREP supported the countries to improve their accounting and auditing legislations, to adopt and implement International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for public interest entities as well as International Standards of Auditing (ISA) and Code of Ethics (IESBA). It also helped the countries, with association agreement with the EU, to prepare transposition tables that benchmarked national legislation in the field of accounting and auditing to the relevant EU framework. In addition, under the STAREP support public oversight institutions in a number of participating countries were established, and national registers of auditors were established. STAREP also supported the improvements in the accountancy education in the beneficiary countries providing support to universities in updating the curriculum and developing national educational strategies. The program also increased access to learning materials and modern teaching methods, as well as developed and disseminated a number of tools for enhanced banking supervision.
* Following the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and hostilities against the people of Ukraine, the World Bank Group has stopped all its programs in Russia and Belarus with immediate effect.
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