Guide to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
Guide to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

The following Corporate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Guide to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
  • Membership
  • Role
  • The Lamfalussy Process
  • Internal working methods
  • Standing committees and networks
  • The Review Panel
  • Documentation available on the ESMA website

ESMA is an independent European Union Authority established on 1 January 2011 to replace and continue the work of the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) and carry out additional obligations provided for under the ESMA Regulation.


Unlike CESR where the Chair and Vice-Chair were elected from the CESR members, ESMA has a full time Chair and an Executive Director based in Paris. Neither individual will represent any Member State.

ESMA's corporate structure is made up of two bodies:

  1. the board of supervisors (Board of Supervisors), made up of:

    1. the heads of 27 national authorities

    2. an observer from the European Commission (EC)

    3. a representative of the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), and

    4. a representative of the European Systematic Risk Board (ESRB), and

  2. the management board (Management Board), made up of:

    1. six members (and an alternate for each) from the Board of Supervisors

    2. ESMA's full time Chair

    3. ESMA's Executive Director, and

    4. a representative from the EC


The role of ESMA is to:

  1. ensure the integrity, transparency, efficiency and orderly functioning of financial markets across the European Union (EU)

  2. foster supervisory convergence amongst securities regulators and across financial sectors

  3. enhance investor protection and ensure consistent treatment of investors across the EU

  4. promote equal