The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) was established by 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.

On 1 January 2011, the ESMA took over all the existing tasks of the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) and was simultaneously assigned several new tasks. The ESMA is meant to contribute to:

  • improving the functioning of the internal market, including in particular a sound, effective and consistent level of regulation and supervision,
  • ensuring the integrity, transparency, efficiency and orderly functioning of financial markets,
  • strengthening international supervisory coordination,
  • preventing regulatory arbitrage and promoting equal conditions of competition,
  • ensuring the taking of investment and other risks are appropriately regulated and supervised,
  • enhancing customer protection, and
  • registering and supervising rating agencies

Among other things, the ESMA is supposed to foster supervisory convergence and provide advice to EU authorities in the field of regulation of the capital market and managers of alternative investment funds, as well as related matters of corporate governance, auditing and financial reporting.

The main decision-making body of the ESMA is the Board of Supervisors, in which the CNB has a representative. The Board of Supervisors is composed of the Chairperson, the head of the national public authority competent for the supervision of financial market participants in each Member State, a representative of the Commission, a representative of the European Central Bank, a representative of the ESRB and a representative of each of the other two European Supervisory Authorities.

The Management Board should ensure that Authority carries out its mission and performs the tasks assigned to it. It is composed of the Chairperson and six other members of the Board of Supervisors, elected by the members of the Board of Supervisors.

The ESMA is represented by the Chairperson and managed by an Executive Director.