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European heads back pensions directive

BELGIUM – European heads of government have backed the Pensions Fund Directive – calling for it to be adopted by the end of the year.

Meeting at a summit in Brussels last week, European Union leaders called for the Financial Services Action Plan to be completed rapidly. Part of this process, they said, was the adoption “by end 2003” of the pension directive.

The directive, which lays out a platform for occupational pensions funds in the European Union - was approved by the European Parliament earlier this month.

The prospectus directive would also need to be adopted by the end of this year, the leaders said. Other directives, on investment services and transparency, were to be adopted by April next year.

The leaders also called for an investigation of the obstacles for investments by institutional investors such as pension funds in venture capital markets.

There was also a call for the European Council and the Commission “to maintain the momentum for cooperation” by studying the “common challenges” facing pension systems.

There was also support for the European Commission's recent report on adequate and sustainable pension systems in Europe.

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