Brussels, 22 March 2007
Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: "The UCITS Directive has served the European fund industry well. It has been the springboard for global leadership. But the industry is faced with massive structural challenges – fragmentation, complex distribution channels, competition from new investment products. The current Directive provides no answer to these challenges. That is why I have pushed hard to strengthen the Single Market framework for funds. The November White Paper agreed the steps that were most urgently needed. This consultation marks the beginning of the delivery phase. I invite stakeholders to comment critically on the usefulness, coherence and cost-effectiveness of our preliminary ideas. This will ensure that the Commission's subsequent proposal will really deliver better outcomes for European investors and market participants."
The White Paper identified a series of changes to the UCITS Directive which are urgently needed:
The Commission is now making public its initial views on how best to realise these objectives. This material is published as a basis for consultation and feedback from all interested parties. The Commission hopes to receive extensive feedback and input from regulatory bodies, market participants and other stakeholders on: their effectiveness in achieving the desired result; their coherence with the overall UCITS framework and related legislation; the likelihood of unintended consequences for stakeholders – particularly investors; and cost-effectiveness.
The consultation is further expression of the Commission's commitment to better regulation and transparent law-making. These are informal and preliminary orientations: the Commission retains full discretion as regards the final form of the proposal that it will subsequently table.
The following consultation documents are now available:
As part of the consultation process, the Commission will host an open hearing in Brussels on 26 April 2007. This will give stakeholders an opportunity to exchange views on the relevance and effectiveness of the envisaged solutions.
The consultation documents plus online registration for the open hearing are available at:
 Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities