Guide to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

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

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

Guide to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

This Practice Note focuses on the membership, role and processes of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). 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.

ESMA is one of three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) which are part of the European System of Financial Supervision. Its main task is to ensure consistent and appropriate financial supervision throughout the EU.


ESMA has a full time Chair, an Executive Director and two governing bodies:

  1. the board of supervisors (Board of Supervisors), and

  2. the management board (Management Board)

The main role of the Board of Supervisors is to make all policy decisions and it has responsibility for a range of matters such as the adoption of ESMA technical standards, opinions and guidelines. The Board of Supervisors is made up of:

  1. the ESMA chair

  2. the heads of the national competent authorities (NCAs) in the EU and EEA which are responsible for securities regulation and supervision, and

  3. non-voting representatives from the European Commission (EC), the European Systematic Risk Board (ESRB), the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority (EFTA Surveillance Authority)

The Management

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