Volume 48 (2011) / Issue 6
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) was established in 2011 in the wake of the financial crisis. As one of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESA), it is part of the new European System of Financial Supervision. In order to carry out its tasks, ESMA was allocated an impressive range of powers which it exercises in relation to national competent authorities or market actors, including Credit Rating Agencies. The aim of this article is to examine ESMA's powers and the questions that they raise. As an EU body, ESMA was delegated certain powers. This fact raises some important issues - notably with respect to the Meroni doctrine - which this article investigates. In particular, it argues that EU actors have mostly been tight-lipped over the precise constitutional limitations of a delegation of powers when vesting powers in ESMA. The main message of this article is that the lack of clarity characterizing the current state of affairs is unsatisfactory and should be addressed.
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