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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is an independent European Union (EU) Authority that contributes to safeguarding the stability of the EU's financial system by enhancing the protection of investors and promoting stable and orderly financial markets.

ESMA achieves its objectives by:

  • assessing risks to investors, markets and financial stability;
  • completing a single rulebook for EU financial markets;
  • promoting supervisory convergence; and
  • directly supervising credit rating agencies, trade repositories and securitisation repositories.

ESMA, as well as fostering supervisory convergence amongst Member States’ national competent authorities (NCAs) with responsibility for securities and capital markets supervision, it aims to do so across financial sectors by working closely with the other European Supervisory Authorities competent in the field of banking (EBA), and insurance and occupational pensions (EIOPA).

Whilst ESMA is an independent Authority, it is accountable to the European Institutions including the European Parliament, where it appears before the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) at their request for formal hearings, the Council of the European Union and European Commission. The Authority reports to the institutions on its activities regularly at meetings and also through its Annual Report.

Selected by Virginie GASTINE MENOU

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