INSIGHT by the Council of the European Union
The EU is about to create a single point of access to public financial and sustainability-related information about EU companies and EU investment products. On May 23rd, negotiators from the Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on three proposals creating the European Single Access Point (ESAP), which is part of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) Action Plan.
Free, user friendly, centralised and digital access to financial and sustainability-related information made public by European companies, including small companies, will facilitate the decision-making process for a broad range of investors, including retail investors. By increasing the circulation of information, also across borders, and by increasing the digital use of that information, ESAP will further foster the integration of financial services and capital markets within the Union and help achieving the objectives of the Capital Markets Union.
ESAP does not impose any additional information reporting requirements on European companies. This is because ESAP will provide access to information already made public in application of the relevant European directives and regulations. Sustainability information will be made available early on ESAP, supporting the objectives of the European Green Deal.
Under the provisional agreement, the ESAP platform is expected to be available from summer 2027 and gradually phased in to allow for a robust implementation. Based on coherent phases this phasing-in will ensure that European regulations and directives will in accordance with their priority enter into the scope of ESAP within four years. This ensures that sufficient time is available to define and implement the required technical aspects of the project. During this time, there will also be a regular assessment of ESAP’s functioning and a review clause that should guarantee the adequacy of the platform to the needs of its users and its technical efficiency.
From the start (phase 1), co-legislators agreed that the scope should include information according to the short selling regulation (EU) No 236/2012, the prospectus regulation (EU) 2017/1129 and the transparency directive 2004/109/EC.
Six months after ESAP has been made public (48 months after entry into force), phase 2 will begin. The scope of phase 2 will be quite large and include, among others, information according to sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector (SFDR) regulation, the credit rating agencies (CRA) regulation and the benchmark regulation.
During the third and last phase relevant information stemming from around 20 additional pieces of legislation are added to the scope, including the capital requirements regulation (CRR), the markets in financial instruments regulation (MiFIR) and the EU green bonds regulation (EUGBR).
The agreement is provisional as it still needs to be confirmed by the Council and the Parliament before it can be formally adopted.
This proposal is part of the Capital Markets Union package which the Commission presented on 25 November 2021. The Council agreed its position on the proposal on 29 June 2022. Trilogue negotiations with the European Parliament started on 8 March 2023 and ended in today’s provisional agreement.
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