Alphabetical index
This page is available in 5 languages

We are migrating the content of this website during the first semester of 2014 into the new EUR-Lex web-portal. We apologise if some content is out of date before the migration. We will publish all updates and corrections in the new version of the portal.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

The 2008 financial crisis revealed many shortcomings in financial supervision. It exposed the lack of cooperation, coordination and consistency between Member States in their national management of the practices of financial institutions. This Regulation aims at restoring Europeans’ trust and preventing risks of destabilising the global banking system in the securities sector.


Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Securities and Markets Authority), amending Decision No 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/77/EC [See amending act(s)].


This Regulation establishes the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). It forms part of the package of measures implemented to reform the European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS) which creates three other organisations to monitor financial activities:

The package also reforms existing legislation on financial matters with the Omnibus Directive and includes the Regulation conferring new tasks upon the European Central Bank.

Supervision of the financial system of the European Union (EU) is further reinforced by the activities of:

  • the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities;
  • the competent or supervisory authorities of Member States.

Establishment and legal status of the ESMA

The objective of the ESMA is to safeguard the stability and effectiveness of the financial system. It acts mainly in the field of activities of:

  • firms offering investment services;
  • corporate governance;
  • auditing;
  • financial reporting.

In addition, the scope of ESMA action covers:

The ESMA has legal personality and has its seat in Paris.

Tasks and powers of the ESMA

The ESMA is responsible for carrying out certain tasks, such as:

  • contributing to the establishment of regulatory and supervisory standards and practices;
  • monitoring and assessing the market in the area of its competence;
  • fostering the protection of investors.

In order to meet these objectives, the ESMA has a leading role which consists in particular of:

  • developing draft regulatory and implementing technical standards;
  • issuing guidelines and recommendations;
  • providing a centrally accessible database of financial institutions in the area of its competence.

The ESMA also carries out activities relating to consumer protection, for example by analysing consumer trends or by developing training standards for industry.

Organisation of the ESMA

The ESMA has a Board of Supervisors that is responsible for giving guidance on its activities. The Board is composed of:

  • a Chairperson;
  • the head of the competent national public authority;
  • a representative of the Commission;
  • a representative of the ESRB;
  • a representative of each of the two other European Supervisory Authorities.

The ESMA also has a Management Board.

Joint bodies of the European Supervisory Authorities

The joint bodies of the European Supervisory Authorities are:

  • the Joint Committee of European Supervisory Authorities which is responsible for cooperating with them as regards financial conglomerates, accounting and auditing, micro-prudential analyses, retail investment products, measures combating money laundering and information exchange with the ESRB;
  • the Board of Appeal which provides legal advice on the legality of the ESMA’s exercise of its powers.

Any natural or legal person may appeal against a decision of the ESMA, in writing, within two months of the date of notification of the decision. The Board of Appeal has a period of two months as from the appeal being lodged to confirm the decision taken by the ESMA or to remit the case to a competent body.

This Regulation repeals Decision 2009/77/EC.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010



OJ L 331 of 15.12.2010

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 2011/61/EU



OJ L 174 of 1.7.2011


Council Regulation (EU) No 1096/2010 of 17 November 2010 conferring specific tasks upon the European Central Bank concerning the functioning of the European Systemic Risk Board [OJ L 331 of 15.12.2010].

Directive 2010/78/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 amending Directives 98/26/EC, 2002/87/EC, 2003/6/EC, 2003/41/EC, 2003/71/EC, 2004/39/EC, 2004/109/EC, 2005/60/EC, 2006/48/EC, 2006/49/EC and 2009/65/EC in respect of the powers of the European Supervisory Authority (European Banking Authority), the European Supervisory Authority (European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) and the European Supervisory Authority (European Securities and Markets Authority) Text with EEA relevance [OJ L 331 of 15.12.2010].

Commission Decision 2001/528/EC of 6 June 2001 establishing the European Securities Committee (Text with EEA relevance) [OJ L 191 of 13.7.2001].

Last updated: 31.08.2011

See also

Legal notice | About this site | Search | Contact | Top