ESMA shifts focus: Navigating the digital and green transitions in 2024


The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has unveiled its work programme for 2024.

Amid challenges such as high inflation, geopolitical tensions, and technological evolution, ESMA aims to closely monitor markets and risks, and support the European regulatory framework associated with digital and sustainability transitions.

The goal is to ensure efficient regulation and supervision of European capital markets to counteract the EU’s challenges.

The implementation of key legislative projects will define ESMA’s responsibilities in 2024. Especially, the conclusion of the regulatory framework under MiCA and collaboration with national authorities for the new regime is crucial to enhance crypto market investor protection.

The introduction of the first Consolidated Tape Providers aims to increase transparency and promote a unified data source across EU’s financial markets.

The European Union will witness significant events in 2024 including a new Parliament and Commission post the elections in June. ESMA plans to actively collaborate with these bodies.

ESMA’s 2024 focus includes sustainable finance rules within the European Green Bond Regulation, combatting greenwashing, and setting technical standards for the European Single Access Point (ESAP) and Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA).

ESMA will also focus on enhancing financial stability and investor protection by undertaking tasks in asset management based on reviews from AIFMD, UCITS Directives, and CSDR. Potential reviews of EMIR and the new Listing Act may also result in new ESMA mandates.

The authority will support the completion (and possible start) of the new Retail Investment Strategy and assess the supervision of cross-border activities by investment firms. It also plans to increase its engagement with retail investors.

Preparations are underway for the 2025 application of DORA, and the process of choosing and authorising Consolidated Tape Providers in the EU will commence.

Data utilisation and Information and Communication Technologies are pivotal to ESMA’s 2023-2028 strategy. Efforts will be made to improve data quality outputs for all supervisory data.

Verena Ross, Chair of ESMA, said, “The implementation of a number of significant legislative projects will shape ESMA’s work and responsibilities in 2024. […] ESMA will engage with and support them in determining the priorities for the next legislative period, providing technical advice and input on the different legislative initiatives across our remit.”

Natasha Cazenave, Executive Director of ESMA, added, “The political, technological and economic developments expected in 2024 present ESMA with wide ranging and demanding new tasks. ESMA and its staff are committed to delivering across its responsibilities and ensuring the authority remains agile to respond to new developments.”

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