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EU’s New Rules on Hedge Funds Improve Earlier Draft—But Remain Controversial

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Perspectives: An Occasional Forum of the European Institute Reflecting Participant Views on Topical issues

By Anthony Luzzatto Gardner

After nearly two years of heated debate, the member states of the European Union have approved the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive which imposes strict regulatory requirements on a wide range of “alternative” investment fund managers, including those managing hedge funds, private equity and venture capital funds, listed investment companies, real estate and infrastructure funds.

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Leaked Cables Show A Transatlantic Success: EU Rallied to Iran Sanctions after Some Swedish-led "Foot-Dragging"

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An interesting narrative that emerges from the newly-disclosed secret State Department cable traffic documents the Obama administration’s success in getting European support for sanctions and other actions against Iran. After the presidential elections in 2008, the new team in Washington developed a sustained diplomatic focus on the issue and proved more effective in this regard than earlier efforts by the Bush administration, which had its hands full with the war in Iraq. The change of emphasis and clarity is described in a New York Times story based on the documents released by Wikileaks.

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Irish Government Sets Draconian Cuts in Hopes of Recovery in Debt Crunch

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Here is a point by point run-down of the austerity package unveiled Wednesday by the Irish government. Dublin hopes it will be strong enough to quell the current crisis of confidence in the country’s finances – and that the government, with its paper-thin majority, can keep enough public support to make the plan credible. The  four-year plan, the brunt of which is suppose to take effect next year, includes cuts in welfare and the minimum wage and higher taxes for Irish citizens. But it maintains the relatively low corporate tax rate that other EU countries have sought to see raised – so far, without success – in their negotiations with Dublin about a planned EU-IMF bailout.

-- European Affairs

 
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Lisbon Summits Offer Success For U.S., Russia And EU -- At Least On Paper

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(Nov. 22)   The three summit meetings last weekend resulted in what New York gamblers call a “trifecta” of three wins:  the leadership of the NATO alliance set a framework for missile defense in Europe without undermining nuclear deterrence as an ultimate security guaranty; Russia returned to its special partnership with NATO for the first time since the Georgia war in 2008; and the EU fielded an effectively streamlined team (the result of its own Lisbon treaty last year) that has already bolstered the pace of  EU-US cooperation.

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Backlash Among European Allies Likely If U.S. Delays Strategic Arms Pact

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An Obama administration failure to get ratification of the so-called New Start treaty – as now seems probable – will inject damaging tensions into U.S. relations with Germany and other key NATO allies in Europe.
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A Tangible Idea for U.S.-EU Summit -- Coordinate Development Assistance

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By Anthony Luzzatto Gardner

Top-level focus on the single topic of better transatlantic teamwork on humanitarian assistance and development aid could help re-energize the anemic institution of U.S.-EU summits.

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European Response to U.S. Elections? “Watchful-Waiting” on Foreign Policy

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Most of America’s partners seem to judge that the electoral blow to President Barack Obama is bad news for a leader they like and proof that the U.S. public is moving farther away from the social values and other center-left views that amount to a broad consensus in much of the EU.

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UK Parliamentary Briefing Calls U.S. Vote a "Stage-Setter" for 2012 Presidential Ballot

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The European Institute has received permission to publish a briefing (see text) given Wednesday to the All-Party Group on Transatlantic and International Security about the broad political implications of the U.S. vote this week. It is a group drawn from all three political parties in the House of Commons and in the House of Lords.
 
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New Congress Will Slow U.S. Action On Climate Change - - But California Voters Endorse Their State’s Emission Curbs

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Conservative control of the House of Representatives weakens the already-flagging momentum on climate-change legislation. Many new Congress members – Republicans (including Tea Party activists) – will expand the ranks opposing environmental action as too expensive or even denying the existence of global warming as a man-made problem.
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