ESAP latest: EU drives towards transparency

Posted on July 8, 2022 by Editor

Among other great speakers at the recent XBRL Europe conference, Jean-Phillippe Rabine from the European Commission (EC) provided an update on progress towards the planned European Single Access Point (ESAP). This will provide unified access to huge amounts of information relevant to investors of all sizes. It is projected to cover the regulated activities of up to 150,000 companies, including public companies, investment funds, insurance companies, banks, ratings agencies, and some 45,000 large private companies that will disclose a range of sustainability information on the platform.

While it is tempting to call ESAP an EU ‘EDGAR’ or ‘EDINET,’ in many respects it should eventually be significantly more far-reaching. At the same time – since it will need to aggregate or index data provided to national registers and regulators across 27 countries, as well as a number of EU-wide collections – it is also a much more complicated undertaking. The platform will be owned and operated by ESMA, with input from several other European agencies.

ESAP is highly relevant to Inline XBRL filings, as it will host all financial statements filed in the EU, made in the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF), as well as upcoming sustainability disclosures made under the CSRD. In the longer term, not all information that will be hosted on ESAP will necessarily be in Inline XBRL, with the platform open to multiple formats. Encouragingly, the EC will have a power to direct that specific disclosures be made using suitable machine-readable formats.

ESAP is intended to be accessible free of charge, with open terms of use, including bulk downloads and access via an API. ESMA will be able to charge fees for some of these services where data is consumed by commercial data providers in order to cover certain costs. Phasing-in of the legislation and the ESAP system will commence in 2024 and drive through to at least 2026.

Europe’s aims for ESAP are wide ranging. It should improve capital allocation and further integrate financial services, as well as help with information flow as the EU’s plans to transition towards a sustainable economy continue. The vision is clear. The legislation, political support and budget are to hand. Everything is now down to execution.

Read more here.

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