European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) was created by Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 of 24 November 2010 in order to enhance the European System of Financial Supervision of which it is one of the three new supervisory authorities. ESMA is an indepenent authority of the European Union with legal personality acting in order to ensure efficiency and coherence regarding prudential regulation and supervision in all the financial markets. ESMA officially took over the responsibilities and tasks of the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) on 1 January 2011.


ESMA is independent but reports to the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission. 


Its main objectives consist in:

  • safeguarding financial stability in the EU and ensuring the integrity, efficiency and sound functioning of the financial markets;
  • drawing up compulsory standards and intervening by using binding measures;
  • improving the coordination between the regulators of securities markets; 
  • intervening as a consultative group in charge of assisting the European Commission, particularly when preparing implementing measures in the field of securities;
  • work in order to ensure the coherent and quick implementation of EU regulations in the Member States.