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ESMA's 20 recommendations for more efficient and attractive European markets

ESMA's 20 recommendations for more efficient and attractive European markets

Following several months of joined-up thinking on the relaunch of the Capital Markets Union, in which the AMF has taken part, ESMA published on 22 May 2024 a position paper setting out recommendations to promote the strengthening of European capital markets and enable them to address the needs of European citizens and businesses. 

Over the last fifteen years, the European Union's financial markets have lost ground on the world stage. Today, they account for 11% of global market capitalisation and 15% of initial public offerings by value, according to ESMA's review of industry data. By way of comparison, the US market represents 45% and 32% respectively. Despite the ambition for a capital markets union unveiled in July 2014 by Jean-Claude Juncker, this is still far from complete. 

Based on this observation, ESMA, in its position paper entitled: Building more efficient and attractive capital markets in the EU, puts forward 20 recommendations with the aim of fostering a broader financial ecosystem and placing investors and firms at the centre of this ecosystem.

Its 20 recommendations focus on three areas:

  • Expanding investment opportunities for European citizens;
  • Boosting the financing of European firms;
  • Improving regulatory agility, supervisory consistency and global competitiveness.

The AMF particularly welcomes this publication. It is the outcome of a work launched in 2023 in which the AMF and its Chair, Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, have taken part. The AMF is pleased that market regulators in the European Economic Area and ESMA have agreed on a wide range of measures that are essential if the European capital markets are to respond to the challenges posed by the issues of growth, innovation and competitiveness currently facing the European Union, especially those related to the ecological and digital transitions.

ESMA's recommendations include key ideas that have long been close to the AMF's heart, such as greater direct European supervision. ESMA calls on the co-legislators to assess whether certain specific areas would benefit from direct European supervision, such as large market infrastructures and major pan-European digital asset services providers. This assessment could be based on certain criteria, such as the cross-border and pan-European dimension of the activities carried out, the risk of regulatory arbitrage or the gain in efficiency for national regulators. 

ESMA's other recommendations include, in particular, promoting employee savings schemes at the European level, relaunching the European securitisation market, introducing a robust tool for temporarily suspending the provisions of European law, taking greater account of the European Union's competitiveness when setting European standards and improving cooperation between the 27 supervisory authorities.  

Against the backdrop of the current discussions taking place at various levels (the conclusions of the Eurogroup in inclusive format, the European Council’s conclusions of April 2024, the Letta report and the Noyer report), the AMF fully supports the objective of relaunching the Capital Markets Union, and calls on the European Commission and the future co-legislators to take action during the next five-year term in favour of a project that is vital for the European Union.