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Deciphering Eurospeak

May 19, 2011

If the “Globalisation of fund regulation” panel at the International Bar Association’s 22nd Annual Conference on the Globalisation of Investment Funds yesterday drove one thing home, it’s that the European regulatory system is complex. As one panelist put it, working with European regulation requires “multilevel engagement” at both the European Union and the national government levels. The composition of the panel alone provided insight into the nature of the problem: it consisted of five regulators from Europe (representing France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and the UK) and just one from the US — plus a moderator from Canada.

It’s a system that simply befuddles Americans — though I’m not sure that the Europeans understand it much better.

Just understanding the European regulatory jargon can be challenging. Fortunately, there is help available. The Local Government Association in the UK has put together a guide to Eurospeak, which is available online here. This is one of my favorite terms from that glossary:

NUTSThe nomenclature of territorial units for statistics was created by Eurostat, the EU statistical office, in order to create a single and coherent structure for the management of the Structural Funds. Currently there are three NUTS levels. . . Eligibility for Objective 1 funding is principally defined with reference to NUTS level 2, whereas eligibility for Objective 2 funding refers to NUTS level 3. (See also Objectives 1,2,3; Structural Funds.)

Do you have a favorite term in Eurospeak? Leave a comment here or send us an e-mail at with your top pick.

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