On June 13, 2016, the Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group published advice to the European Securities and Markets Authority in a Position Paper on Supervisory Convergence. The Paper outlines supervisory convergence as one of the key strategies to be pursued by ESMA from 2016 until 2020. The SMSG also outlines the possible role it may take in supporting ESMA to ensure consistent supervisory practice across the European Union.

The focus of the paper is on the tools and instruments which ESMA may use to cultivate consistency within the network of financial supervisors and developing uniform supervisory standards. The SMSG explores the methodology of supervisory convergence, which includes guidelines and recommendations, peer review of regulators, exchange of information and experiences as well as training programs. The SMSG notes, amongst other things, that it considers guidelines and recommendations as important tools in ensuring a uniform application of European Union law, and suggests that ESMA take further advantage of Q&As as it helps gain better insight into the proper implementation of financial markets law.

The SMSG finally suggests that ESMA may wish to consider enhancing the effectiveness of peer reviews by explicitly covering regulators' compliance with ESMA’s Guidelines where appropriate. The SMSG finally suggests that stakeholders should be involved in ESMA's work on supervisory convergence, and welcomes ESMA's initiative to engage stakeholders in peer review.

The position paper is available at: https://www.esma.europa.eu/sites/default/files/library/2016-smsg- 014_position_paper_sc.pdf