Advocating structured data for ESAP

Posted on March 19, 2021 by Editor

XBRL International has submitted its response to the European Commission consultation on the establishment of a European Single Access Point (ESAP) for all reporting data. We argue that ESAP should be the primary source of information disclosed to markets in Europe, driven by XBRL for maximum utility.

Given the potential complexity and scope of ESAP, we advocate a ‘start small and grow’ approach. We urge the Commission to build on its initial work around the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF), to utilise Inline XBRL for as much disclosure as possible. Highly competitive software and services are already available, and will only improve with increasing demand.

In today’s world, unstructured data is an increasing liability. To retain its competitive advantage and facilitate investment the EU needs to enable data discovery, access, comparison and analysis. At the same time, the EU is poised to shape the future of reporting, leading the way on environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure. For maximum utility, this data too should be available through ESAP, again using Inline XBRL as recommended by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG).

We were also very interested to read the consultation response from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), which will play a leading role in ESAP. ESMA agrees “that full benefit of the ESAP can be reaped only if information included in the single database is comparable in terms of content and rendered in a structured, machine readable format.”

We look forward to the Commission’s conclusions, and to supporting the development of ESAP, with legislation slated for the end of 2021.

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