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The Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group (here called the SMSG or the Group) was established in April 2011 under ESMA’s founding Regulation to help facilitate consultation with stakeholders in all areas relevant to ESMA’s tasks.
It held its first meeting in July 2011 and elected its Chair and Vice- Chairs in October 2011. During 2011 and 2012, the Group held a number of plenary meetings in the presence of the Chair of ESMA, Mr Steven Maijoor and ESMA’s Executive Director, Verena Ross. ESMA’s staff provided helpful input on a number of the technical issues which have been discussed by the Group. In addition, the Group established a constructive dialogue with the ESMA Board of Supervisors in the context of two joint meetings. The minutes of the meetings of the SMSG are all available on ESMA’s website.
This Annual Report summarizes the key achievements of the Group to date.
The SMSG started its work by establishing rules of procedure designed to support the Group’s delivery of consensus advice, preferably at the earliest possible phase of ESMA’s deliberations.
Since its launch, the Group has produced 14 public opinions, advice and reports. The Group has also delivered a number of informal feedback documents to ESMA. More detail about these activities is provided below. The Group’s ambition is to deliver advice at the earliest upstream stage possible and to focus on strategic issues. This means that the SMSG has tried to get involved at an early stage, often by responding to “discussion papers” rather than by taking part in ESMA’s later Public Consultations on standards or guidelines. In this context, the Group welcomes the fact that ESMA is developing and formalizing its feedback on Group advice.
In addition to its advice to ESMA, the Group also started working on a number of own initiatives outside of ESMA’s Annual Work Programme. In this context, it set up specialized working groups which examine the impact of regulation on the access of SMEs to capital markets, on Investor Protection and on Credit Rating Agencies.
With respect to horizontal issues, the Chair and vice Chairs of the SMSG initiated contacts and discussions with the Chairs of the (EBA) Banking, as well as the EIOPA (Insurance and Occupational Pensions) Stakeholder Groups. The aim is to ensure consistency of advice on key regulatory initiatives by the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), including with respect to investor protection and SME financing in particular.
Regarding ESMA’s institutional role, the SMSG furthermore decided to write to the European Commission, Parliament and Council requesting that deadlines set by EU ‘level 1’ legislation provide adequate time for the submission by ESMA of its technical standards to the Commission.
By 2 January 2014, the Commission must publish a general report on the experience acquired as a result of the operation of the ESAs and the procedures laid down in the ESA Regulations. The SMSG sees this first annual activity report, and its continuing efforts to implement in the most effective way the responsibilities assigned to it as important contributions to this review process, and as assisting in the further improvement of the regulation and supervision of European financial services.