Washington (June 8, 2004) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Committee of European Securities Regulators announced plans to increase cooperation and collaboration between the two bodies.

In Amsterdam, SEC commissioner Roel Campos and CESR chairman Arthur Docters van Leeuwen presented the terms they have reached that would establish the structure of this new collaborative effort and set out the subjects for the agenda over the next year.

According to Campos and van Leeuwen, the basic objectives of such a joint effort would be to identify emerging risks in both the U.S. and the EU securities markets with a view toward improving the ability to address potential regulatory problems at the beginning stage, and to engage in early discussion of potential regulatory projects.

The SEC and CESR will also share their experiences regarding enforcement matters in transatlantic and European cross-border cases.

As far as the agenda for the next year-and-a-half is concerned, the parties identified key areas for discussion such as market structure issues, future mutual fund regulation, development of an effective infrastructure to support the use of international financial reporting standards, and credit rating agencies.

The SEC’s Campos says, "In today's markets, it is critical that securities regulators around the world work with each other in order to address the risks facing our markets. By discussing emerging problems at an early stage and working to facilitate convergence of regulatory approaches, the SEC and CESR will be able to protect investors while lowering unnecessary administrative barriers to cross-border business."

CESR chair van Leeuwen adds, "Ensuring the integrity of the markets is a common objective which both binds and drives the work of the SEC and CESR on a day-to-day basis, encouraging us to forge this deeper dialogue."

-- WebCPA staff

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