ESMA outlines its five-year strategy


The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its strategy that will span from 2023 to 2028.

In the strategy, the Authority details its long-term priorities and how it will use its competences and toolbox to respond to future challenges and developments.

ESMA will focus on strengthening supervision of EU financial markets, enhancing the protection of retail investors, fostering effective markets and financial stability, enabling sustainable finance, as well as facilitating technological innovation and effective use of data.

In the first area of strengthening supervision of EU financial markets, ESMA said itself and the national competent authorities’ activities are complementary and work to strengthen supervision across the EU single market.

The strategy underlines ESMA’s ambition to achieve a common EU supervisory culture, risk prioritisation and the convergence of supervision approaches and outcomes.

For retail investor protection, the Authority claims it will do all it can to ensure investors are effectively protected. It will also put forward actions related to investor engagement and effective information and disclosure.

ESMA aims to foster effective markets and financial stability by actively supporting the deepening of European capital markets, ensuring their integrity and making them more effective.

Over the next five years, the Authority in this area will focus on ensuring fair, orderly and effective markets, increased transparency as well as enhancing financial stability.

ESMA said it will continue developing, maintaining and streamlining the Single Rulebook and supporting the common EU’s voice in the international regulatory and supervisory discussions.

The Authority will also support the enablement of sustainable finance. By embedding sustainability in all its activities, ESMA said will support the transition to a more sustainable economic and financial system.

The priorities from the Sustainable Finance Roadmap go hand in hand with the paths mentioned in the Strategy, namely: effectiveness and integrity of ESG information, an improved ESG regulatory framework and supervision, and a recognition of the role of retail investors in financing the transition to a greener economy.

ESMA will also aim to ensure that financial regulation does not hinder innovation, while maintaining a level playing field between emerging players and products and more traditional ones. ESMA’s focus will be on assessing the impact of technologies used in financial markets on the existing regulatory framework and implementation of the upcoming EU legislation in this space.

ESMA chair Verena Ross said, “I am happy to present an ambitious strategy, which will steer ESMA’s direction for the next five years.

“The ESMA Strategy takes into account the rapidly changing market and geopolitical developments. The established strategic goals are important to enable ESMA, the EU’s financial markets regulator and supervisor, to continue to achieve its mission to enhance investor protection, promote orderly and stable financial markets.

“The 2023-2028 ESMA Strategy is centred around three priorities and two thematic drivers.  Fostering effectiveness and stability of the EU markets and enhancing the protection of retail investors, and doing both through strengthened supervision, are at the core of what ESMA is all about.  The key twin drivers of sustainability and technological and data innovation are also now embedded across all areas of the organisation.”

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