By Marta Andreasen MEP
Last week another meeting took place among shadow rapporteurs and the rapporteur for the AIFM directive
Ten days before I had addressed a letter to the rapporteur, Mr Gauzès, where I brought up the letter that the US Secretary of State Mr Geithner had sent to Michel Barnier, Commissioner for Trade and Monetary affairs. I had warned Mr Gauzès that the letter left the door open to retaliation on the part of the US if the EU insisted on putting out a protectionist directive. I said that the present economic and financial situation was not the opportunity to be protectionist. I never received any response to my letter so I was hoping I would have it during the meeting or that the new draft would reflect the concerns I had raised. But...this was not the case.
The new draft he was proposing included a couple of my amendments but not the most important ones, such as the ones on third countries and the liability of depositories.
Finally I could not hold myself back anymore and I asked the floor to point out to Mr. Gauzès that reading the letter to Alistair Darling, of which he seemed to be aware, it appeared that there had been an agreement at the G-20 which the Americans were asking to be respected. It was quite clear that the present proposal was not respecting such agreement. I also mentioned that in this letter and the previous one to Mr. Barnier the US was warning us that if we did not allow them to operate in our markets they would put us out of their markets and I told Mr. Gauzès that in these times of crisis we were not in a position to close markets for our businesses.
Ladies and Gentlemen: the tone of the meeting radically changed. The American appeal created discussion but it was not going to have the effect it hoped for. Without changing my calm tone I explained that even if we are the regulators we cannot regulate as if we live inside our own bubble ignorant of what goes on in the outside world. In a nutshell I was telling them that it was now the point to act as the politicians that we are. It was difficult for them to formulate a different position. One managed to mumble that of course we could not regulate from our bubble....
It is funny because when I work in the Budgetary Control Committee or the Budget Committee and I propose technical solutions my colleagues remind me that we are politicians and should look for political solutions, and here I am proposing political solutions in the Economic and Monetary committee and there they want to stick to the technical aspects...
Anyway I believe I will be involved in negotiations in the next couple of weeks and I hope to influence the process in benefit of the British Financial industry...will let you know!