Shane Fitzgerald

A portfolio of writing on politics and policy in Europe and Asia

Tag: UK

Euro Crisis will Sideline UK in Europe

Europe’s financial, sovereign debt and political crisis shows no sign of abating and could yet trigger a fresh global catastrophe. The range of endgame options runs from a costly and contentious closer union among members of the Eurozone to its chaotic fragmentation. There are no good solutions, and no agreement on what might be the least-worst one.

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UK Election Time – The Conservatives and Europe

Despite being a key area of difference between the three main parties, Europe has not become a central issue in the current British election campaign. Yet, for foreign observers at least, this election is fascinating in large part because it could mark a major shift in Britain’s attitude towards the EU. The most radical policies in this area are the proposals of the Conservatives who, despite a dramatic surge in support for the Liberal Democrats, continue to lead in the polls.

The European policies of the Conservatives under David Cameron were announced in November 2009 and have been summarised in a previous IIEA publication. However, as election date approaches it is perhaps worth revisiting those plans and examining in more detail their prospects for implementation.

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EU Shuns Funds?

Europe is divided over proposals to regulate alternative investment funds.

One of the most controversial elements of the European Commission’s response to the financial crisis has just arrived in the European Parliament, ripe for criticism, debate and amendment. Upcoming sessions of the Parliament and the European Council will grapple with a draft directive, put forward by EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy in April 2009, aimed at regulating the activities of Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM). The AIF Management sector in the EU is substantial, diverse and disproportionately based in a small number of member states (preeminently the UK but also Ireland), so proposals to regulate it were always bound to be politically contested. Indeed, in what looks set to be the latest installment in a long-running feud between the City of London and continental capitals over financial supervision and regulation, protests against the directive have so far been numerous, vocal and sustained. Read the rest of this entry »

David Cameron’s Open Europe Question

The Conservatives face tough choices as they try to settle their European policy ahead of a crucial party conference.

Thirty years after Margaret Thatcher arrived in Downing Street, a newly confident Conservative Party is poised to take over again from a battered and unpopular Labour government. Opposition leader David Cameron’s revival of the Conservatives has been remarkable – turning a party that had been rendered unelectable into what looks like an unstoppable force – but doubts remain both as to what his young team really wants to do and what they can possibly achieve.

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