On 13 April 2018, ESMA published its response (dated 22 March 2018) to the Article 29 Working Party's February 2018 consultation on draft guidelines on Article 49 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The draft guidelines concern derogations relating to the transfer of personal data to "third countries". ESMA's response focuses on the importance of the "public interest derogation", which applies to international transfers of personal data necessary for important reasons of public interest. This is particularly important in the context of international co-operation between EU and non-EU financial supervisors so as to achieve effective financial supervision in the context of global financial markets. ESMA seeks some clarifications in the draft guidelines and considers that clarity on the scope of the derogations is essential to enable EU financial supervisors to fulfil their missions, while ensuring compliance with applicable EU data protection requirements (in particular, in the absence of comparable legal requirements in the relevant third countries).