The European Union is putting the brakes on a push to converge accounting standards by delaying until the end of 2011 the need for companies to use international standards.

The European Commission has issued a proposal that would let companies in "third countries" such as the U.S., Japan, Canada and China that have listings in Europe continue filing statements with European regulators using their own countries' accounting standards, according to Reuters.

The measure would delay by three years a requirement that would have forced these companies to reconcile their financial statements by the end of 2008.

The move would not affect a proposal by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to allow foreign companies that have a listing in the U.S. to file their financial statements in International Financial Reporting Standards without reconciling them with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

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