10 October 2022

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s financial markets regulator and supervisor, has today published its Strategy for 2023-2028. In the Strategy, ESMA details its long-term priorities and how it will use its competences and toolbox to respond to future challenges and developments.

ESMA will focus on strengthening supervision, enhancing the protection of retail investors, fostering effective markets and financial stability, enabling sustainable finance, as well as facilitating technological innovation and effective use of data.

Verena Ross, Chair, said:

“I am happy to present an ambitious Strategy, which will steer ESMA’s direction for the next five years.”

“The ESMA Strategy takes into account the rapidly changing market and geopolitical developments. The established strategic goals are important to enable ESMA, the EU’s financial markets regulator and supervisor, to continue to achieve its mission to enhance investor protection, promote orderly and stable financial markets.”

“The 2023-2028 ESMA Strategy is centred around three priorities and two thematic drivers. Fostering effectiveness and stability of the EU markets and enhancing the protection of retail investors, and doing both through strengthened supervision, are at the core of what ESMA is all about. The key twin drivers of sustainability and technological and data innovation are also now embedded across all areas of the organisation.”

Main elements of the Strategy

Fostering effective markets and financial stability – ESMA actively supports the deepening of European capital markets, ensuring their integrity and making them more effective. To this end, for the next five years, the Authority will focus on: ensuring fair, orderly and effective markets, increased transparency (e.g. through implementing the European Single Access Point) as well as enhancing financial stability. We will continue developing, maintaining and streamlining the Single Rulebook and supporting the common EU’s voice in the international regulatory and supervisory discussions.

Strengthening supervision of EU financial markets – ESMA’s and the national competent authorities’ (NCAs) activities are complementary and work to strengthen supervision across the EU single market. In the Strategy, ESMA highlights the ambition to achieve a common EU supervisory culture, risk prioritisation, and the convergence of supervision approaches and outcomes.

Enhancing protection of retail investors – ESMA and the NCAs will do all they can to ensure that investors are effectively protected, with a particular focus on retail investors. In addition, in the Strategy, we put forward actions related to investor engagement and effective information and disclosure.

Enabling sustainable finance – By embedding sustainability in all its activities, ESMA will support the transition to a more sustainable economic and financial system. The priorities from the Sustainable Finance Roadmap go hand in hand with the paths mentioned in the Strategy, namely: effectiveness and integrity of ESG information, an improved ESG regulatory framework and supervision, and a recognition of the role of retail investors in financing the transition to a greener economy.

Facilitating technological innovation and effective use of data - ESMA will endeavour to ensure that financial regulation does not hinder innovation, while maintaining a level playing field between emerging players and products and more traditional ones. ESMA’s focus will be on assessing the impact of technologies used in financial markets on the existing regulatory framework and implementation of the upcoming EU legislation in this space.

ESMA will further strengthen its role as data and information hub in the EU and contribute to extending the effective use of data in financial market supervision.