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Threat of AIFM impasse as UK looks to hold firm

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  • Threat of AIFM impasse as UK looks to hold firm

EUROPE - The European Parliament is facing an impasse over its proposed Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) Directive due to UK resistance, according to the rapporteur for the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON).

During a technical briefing on Tuesday, MEP Jean-Paul Gauzès revealed that 25 EU member states had come to a relatively firm agreement over the directive, but he said the UK was opposing the consensus "very determinedly".

The Czech Republic also has some outstanding concerns with the current draft over depository issues, but Gauzès said this was quite minor in comparison.

The major obstacle to pushing the AIFM Directive through concerned third country issues, notably clearance of their conformity with EU regulatory standards, Gauzès said.

If conditions were not met, he explained, the EU would not permit investment from the EU into third countries, and any member state that broke a set number of conditions would face sanctions.

"We can't allow a system that does not concur," he said. "That is the opinion of the [great majority] of European Parliament."

But the position of the Council of Ministers, the meeting place of the EU's finance ministries, was not so certain Gauzès said. The Parliament and the Council are working together, on a "co-decision basis", but this will be made impossible if the UK continues to oppose the third country proposals.

Gauzès expected the Council to settle its position at its meeting on 18 May, but this date was not certain, he said.

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