Pending legislation in the European Parliament of Luxembourg would allow mutual funds registered in one European country to automatically qualify for a pan-European "passport" that would allow them to sell throughout the European Union. If the bill passes, funds would no longer be required to register in each country. A vote on the bill is expected by late summer.
The European Parliament, based in Strasbourg, France, approved the bill on Feb. 17. The mutual fund liberalization bill is a revision to the 1985 UCITS Directive (Undertakings in Collective Investments in Transferable Securities). To become law, however, the bill still has to be approved by the European Commission and the Council of Ministers in each of the 15 European Union countries.