European Securities and Markets Authority

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European Securities and Markets Authority
European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed 1 January 2011 (2011-01-01)
Jurisdiction European Union
Headquarters Paris, France
Agency executives
  • Steven Maijoor, Chairperson
  • Verena Ross, Executive Director
Key document

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is a European Union financial regulatory institution and European Supervisory Authority,[1] located in Paris.

ESMA replaced the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) on 1 January 2011. It is one of the three new European Supervisory Authorities set up within the European System of Financial Supervisors.


ESMA works in the field of securities legislation and regulation to improve the functioning of financial markets in Europe, strengthening investor protection and co-operation between national competent authorities.

The idea behind ESMA is to establish an "EU-wide financial markets watchdog". One of its main tasks is to regulate credit rating agencies. In 2010 credit rating agencies were criticized for the lack of transparency in their assessments and for a possible conflict of interest.[2] At the same time, the impact of the assigned ratings became significant for companies and banks but also states.


  1. ^ "EUROPA – Press Releases – A turning point for the European financial sector". 1 January 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "EU plans new financial regulator for rating agencies". BBC News. 2 June 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 

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