The Swedish Securities Markets Association in the EU
The Swedish Securities Markets Association (SSMA) and its members operate in a financial market where the structure and content of the regulatory framework are determined mainly at the EU level. The same applies to supervision of the financial markets and firms operating in those markets, where coordination and issuance of regulations is increasingly managed by European supervisory authorities.
The SSMA continuously monitors regulatory developments in the EU and discussions in Brussels, where proposals for new and updated rules are presented and addressed in the EU, as in Paris, where the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is located.
The SSMA engages with the EU at several levels
The SSMA has ongoing contact with policymakers and public authorities within the EU. These contacts are of both a bilateral and multilateral nature, as the SSMA frequently collaborates with other Swedish, Nordic and European industry organisations concerning EU-related matters.
The Council is composed of representatives of the 27 EU member states, who regularly meet at various levels and in various configurations. Council meetings at the heads of state and government level are called the European Council, while the equivalent meetings at the ministers of finance level are known as the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN).
The Council Presidency rotates among the EU member states every six months. It is held by Slovenia for the second half of 2021 and will be held by France for the first half of 2022, the Czech Republic for the second half of 2022, Sweden for the first half of 2023 and Spain for the second half of 2023.
Sweden and the other EU member states are represented in Brussels by a Permanent Representation to the EU, whose primary representative or ambassador is called a Permanent Representative.
Staff at the SSMA secretariat are in Brussels regularly for meetings and discussions with the Permanent Representations of Sweden and other member states, as well as representatives of the General Secretariat of the Council (GSC).
The European parliament
The European Parliament is composed of 705 members (Members of the European Parliament, MEPs) who are directly elected every five years by voters in the EU member states. Sweden has 21 MEPs for the term in office ending in 2024.
The Committees of the European Parliament draw up, amend and adopt legislative proposals presented by the European Commission, but also address matters and pursue discussions on their own initiative. Matters pertaining to the financial markets are dealt with primarily by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).
Staff at the SSMA secretariat are in Brussels regularly for purposes including meetings with MEPs from Sweden and other member states. The SSMA is also a member of the European Parliament Financial Services Forum (EPFSF), which arranges meetings and seminars with representatives of the financial markets and MEPs.
The European Commission
The European Commission is the institution appointed as “the guardian of the treaties” and which has the monopoly on legislative proposals and initiatives that are subsequently dealt with by the Council and the European Parliament. The European Commission is led by a President, currently Ursula von der Leyen of Germany, along with Commissioners from each member state. At present, Sweden is represented by Ylva Johansson, who serves as the Commissioner for Home Affairs.
The Commission is organised into policy departments, known as Directorates-General (DGs), which are led by a Commissioner and deal with matters within the DG’s policy area. Matters relating to the financial markets are handled primarily by the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA), which is currently led by Commissioner Mairead McGuinness of Ireland.
Staff at the SSMA secretariat meet regularly with representatives of DG FISMA and other Directorates-General. In addition, the SSMA responds each year to a number of consultations published by the European Commission, which are posted on the SSMA website.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
Many regulations adopted by the Council and the European Parliament at “level 1” contain authorisations for EU financial supervisory authorities to flesh out or augment the regulations with additional details at “level 2” in the form of technical standards or “level 3” in the form of guidelines and Q&A.
Regulations pertaining to securities markets are drafted primarily by the European Securities and Markets Authority, ESMA, but some regulations are instead drafted by a joint committee of equivalent supervisory authorities for banks, the European Banking Authority, EBA, as well as the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, EIOPA. In addition, there is the European Systemic Risk Board, ESRB, an authority that works with matters related to stability.
Staff at the SSMA secretariat interact regularly with ESMA to discuss initiatives and matters relevant to SSMA members. In addition, the SSMA responds each year to a number of consultations published by ESMA, which are posted on the SSMA website.
Alongside the above, the CEO of SSMA is a member of the ESMA Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group (SMSG) and the General Counsel of the SSMA is a member of the Consultative Working Group for ESMA’s Investor Protection and Intermediaries Standing Committee (IPISC CWG).