The genesis for this publication was conceived within the context of the EU Road to Europe – Program of Accounting Reform and Institutional Strengthening (EU-REPARIS) regional program, which aims to provide assistance to the countries of Central and South East Europe on corporate financial reporting reform, particularly candidate countries to European Union (EU) accession. It is a product of close collaboration between the EU’s most recent Member State, Croatia, and the Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR), which has extensive knowledge and experience working with countries in Europe and Central Asia to implement high-quality financial standards.
Prior to attaining membership in the EU, candidate countries are required to agree to the acquis communautaire, the entire body of European law. During the 2004 and 2007 EU enlargement rounds, a total of 12 countries gained EU membership and their experiences provided a plethora of information on the scope of the reforms that typically characterizes adoption and implementation of the acquis communautaire. However, available literature tends to focus on the gaps that countries have to address but offer limited experiential documentation of how countries scale the monumental undertaking of alignment with the acquis communautaire.
This collection of case studies is an attempt to share the how of one country’s odyssey. Through Croatia’s decade long journey from application in 2003 to EU membership in 2013, it offers a glimpse into how countries go about large-scale reform using the corporate financial reporting reform process as the lens through which the story is told. In so doing, the main objective is to offer practical insights to other EU candidate countries specifically, and in general to others seeking to adopt or modify their financial reporting framework and build administrative and institutional capacity to implement.