The main idea of the Directive is to oversee the marketing within the EU funds alternative:
* Non-European societies and non-domiciled in Europe;
* European societies but not domiciled in Europe;
through the award of a European passport attached to the funds must undergo an enhanced transparency, the image of what the UCITS IV Directive (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) is doing for European UCITS funds.
Few countries has long opposed a plea in the European passport, claiming that only a passive marketing of these funds along with the status of private placement is appropriate, given their investment strategy and level of risk. The main risk cited to support this position was to see a licensing procedure more or less flexible according to each European country. Some might be tempted to offer a more flexible regulatory framework to capture the domiciliation of funds at the expense of other countries, with the consequence of pulling down the quality of the passport. In the final stages of negotiations, France has finally decided on the European passport, provided that it is more strict, that is to say, supervised by the future European authority market supervision (ESMA) who will take office on 1 January 2011 (and not only by the public authorities of member countries). The passport will be introduced from 1 January 2013 to cohabit with the national authorities until 2016 to allow time for ESMA to adjust its standards. ESMA will ensure that non-European countries, host of hedge funds, comply with the principles of the regulations in force within the EU. It is also anticipated that in 2015 the Commission makes an assessment of the implementation of the directive and to pronounce on a possible extension of the powers of ESMA.