Law Enforcement by EU Authorities
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Law Enforcement by EU Authorities

Implications for Political and Judicial Accountability

Edited by Miroslava Scholten and Michiel Luchtman

EU law and governance have faced a new development – the proliferation of EU enforcement authorities, which have grown in number over the last 15 years. These entities, either acting alone or together with national enforcement authorities, have been investigating and sanctioning private actors on their compliance with EU law. Law Enforcement by EU Authorities investigates whether the system of control (in terms of both judicial and political accountability) has evolved to support the new system of law enforcement in the EU.
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Chapter 3: ‘Rating’ ESMA’s accountability: ‘AAA’ status

Marloes van Rijsbergen and Jonathan Foster


The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is the only EU agency with the powers to exercise all three stages of enforcement, i.e. monitoring; investigating; and sanctioning. At the same time, it may need to look to Member States’ authorities for assistance in the exercise of its enforcement powers. While this means that tasks can be shared, this chapter shows that the national authorities always stand in a subordinate relationship to ESMA; ESMA remains the responsible actor. This is good news in terms of accountability: the legislative framework is clear as to the allocation of responsibility in the shared enforcement system towards credit rating agencies and trade repositories. ESMA’s accountability framework thus reveals no significant gaps and therefore gets the best rating: ‘AAA’ status.

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