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ESMA Inspecting: The Implications for Judicial Control under Shared Enforcement

Marloes van Rijsbergen, Miroslava Scholten


The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has received considerable academic attention for its newly acquired regulatory powers and the issues of legitimacy and controls concerning its far-reaching powers. ESMA’s supervisory tasks are not less impressive but they are underinvestigated. In light of the recent English judgment on the exercise of ESMA’s inspection powers in the UK, this article focuses on the question of judicial control over inspection power of ESMA. It shows that judicial control has been established in principle. However, the existing legal framework based on different national procedures allows ESMA escaping judicial control by chance or on purpose. This article argues for the necessity of addressing the identified controlling gap by, for instance, eliminating the differences or conditioning inspection-related discretion and promoting judicial cooperation. Since EU and national enforcement powers have become increasingly shared, the system of control cannot remain completely separated, as it is the case today. How the EU supervisor is to be controlled should not be up to the EU supervisor to choose.

Marloes van Rijsbergen LL.M and Dr. Miroslava Scholten are PhD Candidate and an Assistant Professor of EU Law, respectively, at the Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe (RENFORCE), Europa Institute, Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance, Utrecht University; M.P.M.vanRijsbergen@uu.nl, M.Scholten@uu.nl.

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