General AIFMD presentation
The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) is the most important legislative process ever faced by the European private equity and venture capital industry. It is also one of the most rigorously debated pieces of financial regulation ever to emerge from the EU, with around 2,000 amendments tabled by MEPs to the Commission's original draft.
Europe’s private equity and venture capital industry has been a constructive and engaged stakeholder in the AIFMD process from the start. Our engagement has been focused on ensuring appropriate and proportionate rules that do not unnecessarily harm access to finance for companies, while creating a European Single Market for our industry.
Please find below some of the position papers we have produced since the very start, as well as a general Q&A on the final AIFMD.
AIF – AIFM – AIFMD
Alternative Investment Fund – Alternative Investment Fund Manager – Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive
The co-decision procedure is a legislative procedure that gives the European Parliament the power to adopt instruments jointly with the Council. Neither institution (European Parliament or Council) may adopt legislation without the other’s assent.
The co-decision procedure has become by far the most important procedure in legislative practice and concerns areas such as the internal market, employment, trans-European networks, industry, economic and social cohesion, and research and technological development.
For more information, please see: http://ec.europa.eu/codecision/procedure/index_en.htm.
In Brussels, each EU Member State has a permanent team (‘representation’) that represents it and defends its national interest at EU level. The head of each representation is, in effect, his or her country’s ambassador to the EU.
These ambassadors (known as ‘permanent representatives’) meet weekly within the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER).
The role of this Committee is to prepare the work of the Council. COREPER is assisted by a number of working groups, made up of officials from the national administrations.
For more information, please see: http://europa.eu/institutions/inst/council/index_en.htm.
The Economic and Financial Affairs Council, commonly known as the Ecofin Council or simply Ecofin, is composed of the Economics and Finance Ministers of the EU Member States, as well as Budget Ministers when budgetary issues are discussed. It meets once a month.
The Ecofin Council covers EU policy in areas including economic policy coordination, financial markets and capital movements.
ECON is the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, one of the 20 standing Committees of the European Parliament that specialise in particular areas of EU activity and whose task is to draw up reports on legislative proposals that have been referred to Parliament or on which Parliament has been consulted, and own-initiative reports.
ECON’s areas of responsibility include: economic and monetary policies of the EU, free movement of capital, tax provisions and the regulation and supervision of financial services, institutions and markets.
Each committee elects a chairman and four vice-chairmen for a period of two and a half years. The current chairperson of the ECON Committee is Ms Sharon Bowles.
The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee is known as JURI (from French: Affaires juridiques).
JURI’s areas of responsibility include: the interpretation and application of European law and of international law, in so far as the European Union is affected, and Community acts which affect the Member States' legal order, namely in the fields of, among others, company and commercial law.
The current chairman of the JURI Committee is Mr Klaus-Heiner Lehne.
The Lamfalussy model is a four-level procedure designed to intensify and speed up the preparation and application of EU regulations in the context of financial market issues.
In addition, it aims to:
• strengthen supervisory practices in EU financial markets;
• promote the convergence of supervisory and regulatory practices within the EU;
• make provision for legislation to be modified as required to keep pace with market and supervisory developments.
Each level focuses on a specific stage of the implementation of legislation.
Please see below for a schematic overview of the Lamfalussy Procedure for the AIFM Directive. We are now at Level 1.
Member of the European Parliament
Meetings of the whole Parliament are known as ‘plenary sessions’. At these sessions, Parliament examines proposed legislation and votes on amendments before coming to a decision on the text as a whole.
The Members of the European Parliament do not sit in national blocks, but by political affiliation. There are currently 7 Europe-wide political groups in the European Parliament:
Presidency of the Council of the European Union
The Presidency of the Council rotates every six months. Each EU Member State in turn takes charge of the Council agenda and chairs all the meetings for a six-month period, promoting legislative and political decisions and brokering compromises between the Member States.
If for example the Economic and Financial Affairs Council is scheduled to meet during the second half of 2010, it will be chaired by the Belgian Minister of Finance, since Belgium holds the Council Presidency at that time.
Hungary will be holding the Council Presidency in the first half of 2011, followed by Poland from July until December 2011.
Rapporteurs are elected by fellow Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) when one of Parliament's Committees is assigned to draft up a report on a legislative proposal, another document from the European Commission or a particular subject. The MEP who writes the report is known by the French term “rapporteur”.
The rapporteur's key task is to analyse the project, consult with specialists in the particular field and with those who could be affected, discuss with other members within the Committee and recommend the political line to be followed. All of these considerations flow into the report they submit to the Committee.
The Rapporteur for the AIFM Directive is Mr Jean-Paul Gauzès.
Each political group may also appoint its own Shadow Rapporteur, who will be responsible for negotiating the content of the report with the Rapporteur.
Trialogue refers to the process of negotiation between the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission.
Trialogues involve small teams of negotiators for each institution, with the Commission playing a mediating role.
The participants in the trialogues operate on the basis of negotiating mandates given to them by their respective delegations. They explore possible avenues of compromise in an informal manner and report to their delegations. The compromise resulting from the trialogues is submitted to the delegations for approval.