On 1 January 2011, CESR was replaced by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) as part of the financial supervision reforms in Europe. CEBS became the European Banking Authority (EBA), and CEIOPS was replaced by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). In addition, a committee was created to address systemic risk: the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). The AFM will be represented in ESMA, and DNB in EBA and EIOPA. By these supervisory reforms, the European Commission wants to remedy shortcomings that came to light during the financial crisis.

ESMA has published Frequently Asked Questions on its website with regard to its tasks, powers and methods. These are in short:

  • direct supervision of credit rating agencies
  • drawing up (draft) binding technical standards in implementation of European rules  
  • supervision of a consistent application of EU rules at national level and potential intervention in case of incorrect application  
  • during a crisis, coordinating and facilitating activities of national supervisors and, if possible, imposing binding crisis measures  
  • issuing temporary bans or restrictions on specific financial activities  
  • mediating in disputes between national supervisors and taking final, binding decisions where necessary  

The European Parliament and Council have meanwhile adopted the Omnibus I Directive. This Directive amends existing European legislation in connection with the powers of the new European supervisors. The amendments concern a large number of directives, including the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD), the Prospectus Directive, the Market Abuse Directive, and the Transparency Directive. The Omnibus I Directive will have to be implemented in the member states by 31 December 2011. In addition to the Omnibus I Directive, the Commission has published a proposal for the Omnibus II Directive, which amends the Prospectus Directive and the Solvency II Directive.