European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is an independent EU Authority that contributes to safeguarding the stability of the European Union’s financial system by ensuring the integrity, transparency, efficiency and orderly functioning of securities markets, as well as enhancing investor protection. The main general purpose of ESMA is to ensure the correct functioning across the financial markets in Europe by providing a consistent investor protection and international supervisory co-operation.

ESMA works following a four levels approach, with the four levels representing the four level legislative procedures:
Level 1
Sets out high level political objectives by adopting directives and regulations
Offers technical advice to the Commission
Level 2 (Subordinate acts)
Drafts delegated acts, to substantiate the content of a legislative requirement
Drafts implementing acts, to execute measures giving effects to substantive requirements
Level 3 (Not legally binding)
Develops guidelines and recommendations establishing supervisory practices in order to guarantee a common, uniform and consistent application of the Union Law
Level 4
Upon request of national competent authority, the European Parliament, the Council or the Commission for Stakeholder Group or by its own initiative, launches an enquiry and recommendation regarding an investigation within two months You can find the organigramme of ESMA as of 1st July 2012 at the following link: ESMA organigramme.