25. November 2021

European Commission publishes legislative proposal on ESAP

The European Commission today published a legislative proposal to establish a European Single Access Point (ESAP) for company and product data (press release and documents). ESAP – to be established at the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) – is a flagship action of the EU Action Plan to deepen the Capital Markets Union.

The legislative proposal includes a draft Regulation establishing ESAP, as well as a draft Omnibus Regulation and a draft Omnibus Directive amending certain Regulations and Directives that set out the information to be reported to ESAP in the future. These include, for example, the Accounting Directive, the Transparency Directive and the Shareholder Rights Directive. Establishing ESAP will take place in stages. The new obligation for information to be published under the Transparency Directive is to apply from 1 January 2024 and for information to be published under the Accounting Directive from 1 January 2025. It shall also be possible to provide information on a voluntary basis. This is intended to give non-listed companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), greater visibility and easier access to capital.

In line with its recently published mission statement [only available in German], the ASCG gives great importance to the debate on the further digitisation of corporate reporting. The ASCG will advocate for a practicable approach that offers an added value to both, the preparers, and the users of financial and sustainability data. Already for some time, the ASCG supports its members in the implementation of the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) for IFRS financial reporting through its preparer forums. The ASCG also commented on key aspects of the proposals, as part of the European Commission’s consultation on the ESAP. The ASCG’s comment letter dated 4 March 2021 can be found here.

On the occasion of the publication of the legislative proposal, the President of the ASCG, WP/StB Georg Lanfermann, commented as follows: “A central electronic availability of company data supports the financing capability of German companies. This is particularly necessary in view of urgently needed sustainability data in connection with sustainable finance.”