Legal Updates

 Asset Management and Investment FundsJanuary 11, 2024

ESMA publishes its Annual Work Programme for 2024

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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Work Programme for 2024 (the Work Programme). The Work Programme is structured around the implementation of ESMA’s Multi-Annual Strategy for 2023-2028 (the Strategy). The Strategy established three strategic priorities and two thematic drivers which were:

Strategic priorities:

  • Fostering effective markets and financial stability;
  • Strengthening supervision of EU financial markets;
  • Enhancing protection of retail investors;

Thematic drivers:

  • Enabling sustainable finance;
  • Facilitating technological innovation and effective use of data.


In the Work Programme, ESMA notes the current economic context, which it highlights is marked by high inflation, heightened geopolitical tensions and rapid technological changes. ESMA has confirmed that it will continue to monitor and support the European regulatory framework, particularly in relation to digital and sustainability transitions.

Areas of focus

The Work Programme outlines objectives and outputs relating to each of ESMA’s strategic priorities and thematic drivers outlined above. The following are of particular note for 2024:

  • In relation to sustainable finance, ESMA must develop technical standards as part of the new European Green Bond Standard Regulation. This regulation was published in the Official Journal of the EU on 30 November 2023. ESMA is required to prepare draft regulatory technical standards supporting the regulation by December 2024.
  • ESMA also plans to deliver its final report on greenwashing by May 2024, proposing actions to combat this practice following on from its progress report in May 2023. ESMA has indicated that it will collaborate with participating National Competent Authorities (NCAs, including the Central Bank of Ireland) to support the development of supervisory tools and methodologies to detect potential greenwashing practices.
  • ESMA intends to enhance financial stability and investor protection through tasks mandated in the recently concluded reviews of AIFMD and the UCITS Directive. This is expected to lead to an additional single rulebook being published in relation to these pieces of legislation.
  • ESMA expects to begin the process of selecting and authorising Consolidated Tape Providers (CTPs) in the EU. ESMA has indicated that it is likely to commence this process by choosing a CTP in respect of bonds first, with CTPs for equities and then derivatives to follow.

DISCLAIMER: This document is for information purposes only and does not purport to represent legal advice. If you have any queries or would like further information relating to any of the above matters, please refer to the contacts above or your usual contact in Dillon Eustace.

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