The enforcement functions of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) can be distinguished in subsidiary and direct enforcement tasks. This means that ESMA may act as supervisor either where the national competent authorities cannot intervene effectively, or where EU legislation confers a specific competence to act as the single supervisor. This chapter breaks down the exercise of these tasks with the aim of understanding if and how their exercise is ‘under control’. It shows that ESMA’s enforcement powers reflect due consideration of different systems of control. Yet their organisation and functioning set some pragmatic challenges to the implementation process, including ESMA’s independence and the standard of judicial review of its technical decisions.
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