ESMA Chair discusses ESAP
“The objective of the new ESAP legislative project is to create a common source of public and freely available financial and sustainability-related information of EU companies and investment products, regardless of where in the EU they are located or originated while enabling a better use and reuse of this information,” says European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) Chair Verena Ross. “In doing so, the European Commission hopes to be able to provide more visibility and make funding more accessible for EU companies and save time and resources to investors in finding information, so that investors will be able to make sound and well-informed investment decisions.”
In her keynote speech at the recent European Association of Corporate Treasurers (EACT) Summit, Ross gave an overview of the proposed European Single Access Point, or ESAP. On the theme of corporate reporting, we were heartened to see her focus on ESAP alongside improved sustainability disclosures as key topics for discussion – both of which feed into ESMA’s strategic priorities of promotion of sustainable finance and digitalisation.
Ross presents ESAP as a “very important legislative proposal” in improving the quality, consistency, coherence and availability of data. ESAP will provide a single data platform through which investors and other users can draw information reported to diverse national and EU authorities, overcoming current fragmentation of location, format and language. “ESAP is not foreseen to create new reporting obligations or new checks or audits on the data and information reported. Instead, the idea is to gather all the information into a simple user-friendly web portal available in all EU official languages. The portal should include automated translation services and search tools and is planned to support an API and notification services enabling easy access and monitoring.” Of course, the use of XBRL is essential in this endeavour, since the digital tags used to label facts can be automatically switched between languages, providing consistent meanings for users wherever they are.
Ross confirms that ESMA will play a central role in the development of ESAP. Implementation will be carried out in phases, foreseen in early 2024 and continue into 2026 and beyond.
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