The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s financial market regulator and supervisor, is focusing on digital change and green transition, following the launch of its work programme for 2024 this week.

“In an economic context marked by high inflation, heightened geopolitical tensions and rapid technological changes, ESMA will ensure close market and risk monitoring and support the effective implementation of the European regulatory framework related to the digital and sustainability transitions,” it announced.

Verena Ross, chair of ESMA, said: “The implementation of a number of significant legislative projects will shape ESMA’s work and responsibilities in 2024. In particular, the finalisation of the regulatory framework under MiCA and the preparations with national authorities for the new regime will be important to contribute to enhancing investor protection in the crypto market.”

She also mentioned that the authorisation of the first consolidated tape providers will increase transparency and foster a single data source across the EU’s financial markets.

“2024 will be an important year for the European Union as a whole, with a new parliament and commission following the elections next June. ESMA will engage with and support them in determining the priorities for the next legislative period, providing technical advice and input on the different legislative initiatives across our remit,” she noted.

In 2024, ESMA will develop rules for sustainable finance as part of the new European Green Bond Regulation and will deliver its final report on greenwashing, proposing actions to combat this practice.

verena ross esma

Verena Ross at ESMA

The Authority will also finalise technical standards for the European Single Access Point (ESAP) and continue preparatory work on the necessary IT infrastructure that will support it.

In the digital finance area ESMA will conclude the work on technical standards and guidelines in relation to the MiCA regulation and the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA).

ESMA will work to enhance financial stability and investor protection also through tasks mandated in the asset management area under the recently concluded reviews of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMD), Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) Directives, and the Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR).

The ongoing reviews of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) as well as the new Listing Act may also lead to new mandates for ESMA in 2024, the Authority disclosed.

Next year ESMA expects to continue to adapt its supervisory efforts to be ready for the entry into application of DORA in 2025, and begin the process of selecting and authorising Consolidated Tape Providers (CTPs) in the EU. ESMA will develop technical standards for the European Single Access Point (ESAP) and continue preparatory work on the necessary IT infrastructure needed to support it.

Finally, effective use of data and information and communication technologies is a key part of ESMA’s strategy for 2023-2028, and ESMA will work on further improving data quality outputs for all supervisory data and enhance the ability to share and analyse this data in close cooperation with other EU authorities.

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