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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
12/11/2013 2013/1642 Information on shareholder cooperation and acting in concert under the Takeover Bids Directive , Statement PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a statement on practices governed by the Takeover Bid Directive (TBD), focused on shareholder cooperation issues relating to acting in concert and the appointment of board members. The statement contains a White List of activities that shareholders can cooperate on without the presumption of acting in concert. It also contains information on how shareholders may cooperate in order to secure board member appointments by setting out factors that national authorities may take into account when considering whether shareholders are acting in concert. The statement is in response to a request by the European Commission for clarity on these issues, following its 2012 report on the application of the TBD. It is based on information collected about the TBD’s application and common practices across the European Economic Area (EEA). The statement was prepared by the Takeover Bids Network, a permanent working group, under ESMA’s auspices, that promotes the exchange of information on practices and application of the TBD across EEA.
12/11/2013 2013/1643 Cover Note- Public statement containing information on shareholder cooperation and acting in concert under the Takeover Bids Directive (ESMA/2013/1642) , Reference PDF
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In accordance with its mandate to take appropriate action in the context of takeover bids as per Article 1.3 of Regulation (EU) 1095/2010 (ESMA Regulation), ESMA is releasing a public statement on shareholder cooperation and acting in concert under the Takeover Bids Directive (Directive 2004/25/EC). This statement has been prepared following the review and report by the European Commission on the application of the Takeover Bids Directive and is based on information collected about the practices and application of that Directive. The statement has been prepared in order to help shareholders identify activities in relation to which they can cooperate (insofar as those activities are available to them under national company law), without that cooperation, in and of itself, leading to a conclusion that the shareholders are acting in concert and thus being at risk of having to make a mandatory bid under the Takeover Bids Directive. These activities are presented in the statement in the form of a “White List”. The statement has been prepared by the Takeover Bids Network, a permanent working group operating under the auspices of ESMA that promotes exchange of information on practices and application of the Takeover Bids Directive across the European Economic Area, thereby strengthening a common supervisory culture. The Takeover Bids Network is a specialist group composed of the national competent authorities appointed under the Takeover Bids Directive. The competent authorities represented on the ESMA Board of Supervisors are not in all cases appointed as competent authorities within the Takeover Bids Directive. The authorities not represented on the Board of Supervisors but competent within the area of takeovers are the Austrian Takeover Commission, the Irish Takeover Panel, the Oslo Stock Exchange of Norway, the Takeover Panel of Sweden and the Takeover Panel of the United Kingdom. These five authorities have contributed to the public statement and will have regard to it in the same manner as the other members of the Takeover Bids Network when assessing whether shareholders are acting in concert under their national takeover rules.
12/11/2013 2013/1645 ESMA clarifies shareholder cooperation in takeover situations , , Press Release PDF
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ESMA clarifies shareholder cooperation in takeover situations The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a statement on practices governed by the Takeover Bid Directive (TBD), focused on shareholder cooperation issues relating to acting in concert and the appointment of board members. The statement contains a White List of activities that shareholders can cooperate on without the presumption of acting in concert. It also contains information on how shareholders may cooperate in order to secure board member appointments by setting out factors that national authorities may take into account when considering whether shareholders are acting in concert. The statement is in response to a request by the European Commission for clarity on these issues, following its 2012 report on the application of the TBD. It is based on information collected about the TBD’s application and common practices across the European Economic Area (EEA). The statement was prepared by the Takeover Bids Network, a permanent working group, under ESMA’s auspices, that promotes the exchange of information on practices and application of the TBD across EEA. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “Today’s statement means that shareholders can now be confident that they can expect authorities to take a consistent approach across the EEA to their cooperative activities. This consistency should in turn provide the reassurance needed by shareholders for the effective, sustainable engagement that is one of the cornerstones of listed companies’ corporate governance model allowing them to hold their boards to account. “ESMA believes that ensuring a consistent and convergent supervisory approach to this issue will be instrumental in affording equality of treatment to shareholders and investors across the EEA.” National competent authorities will have regard to the White List when determining whether shareholders are persons acting in concert under national takeover rules, but will also take into account all other relevant factors in making their decisions. Shareholder cooperation and acting in concert - The White List When shareholders cooperate to engage in any of the activities listed below, that cooperation will not, in and of itself, lead to a conclusion that the shareholders are acting in concert: 1. entering into discussions with each other about possible matters to be raised with the company’s board; 2. making representations to the company’s board about company policies, practices or particular actions that the company might consider taking; 3. other than in relation to the appointment of board members, exercising shareholders’ statutory rights; 4. other than in relation to a resolution for the appointment of board members and insofar as such a resolution is provided for under national company law, agreeing to vote the same way on a particular resolution put to a general meeting. If shareholders cooperate in an activity not included on the White List, this will also not result in an automatic assumption that they are acting in concert. Each case will be determined on its own particular facts. Cooperation in relation to the appointment of members of the board of a company The White List does not include any activity relating to cooperation on board appointments, due to differences in Member State approaches towards determining whether shareholders who cooperate in relation to board appointments are acting in concert. However, shareholders may wish to cooperate in order to secure board members’ appointment in a company in which they have invested. This cooperation might take the form of: 1. entering into an agreement or arrangement (informal or formal) to exercise their votes in the same way in order to support the appointment of one or more board members; 2. tabling a resolution to remove one or more board members and replace them with one or more new board members; or 3. tabling a resolution to appoint one or more additional board members. The statement therefore indicates which factors may be considered when assessing whether such cooperation is indeed an act of acting in concert. ESMA will keep the public statement under review in order to ensure that it continues to reflect accurately the practices and application of the TBD in the Member States. 2013/1642 Public Statement - Information on shareholder cooperation and acting in concert under the Takeover Bids Directive. 2013/1643 Cover Note to the Public Statement
18/11/2013 2013/1665 ESMA- Financial institutions must improve financial statement disclosures , , Press Release PDF
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ESMA - Financial institutions must improve financial statement disclosures The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Review of the comparability and quality of disclosures in 2012 IFRS financial statements of listed financial institutions. The Review makes recommendations aimed at enhancing the transparency of financial statements through the improvement of disclosures in certain key areas including: credit risk and impact of forbearance practices; liquidity and funding risk; asset encumbrance and fair value measurement of financial instruments. ESMA, while finding that the required disclosures under IFRS were generally observed, also identified broad variations in the quality of the information provided, and found some cases where that was insufficient or insufficiently structured to allow comparability among financial institutions. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA has identified a number of areas where financial institutions can improve the information that they provide in their financial statements, particularly on issues such as credit risk and forbearance. “We expect that financial institutions and their auditors will take into account our recommendations when preparing and auditing the IFRS financial statements for 2013. “ESMA believes that accurate and comparable financial statements play a key role in maintaining both investor and market confidence, which in turn contributes to financial stability and promotes sound economic growth.” The Review ESMA decided to undertake a review of some of the key areas of the financial statements prepared by listed financial institutions across the EU in order to assess their comparability and the quality of disclosures. The review was based on a sample of 39 large European financial institutions from 16 jurisdictions, mostly consisting of banks that were included in the latest EBA stress-test exercise, most of which will move under the ECB supervision in 2014. The review focused on the following areas: • Structure and content of the income statement; • Liquidity and funding risk including the effects of asset encumbrance; • Hedging and the use of derivatives; • Credit risk with a focus on credit risk management, forbearance practices, non-performing loans and country concentration risk; and • Criteria used to assess impairment of equity securities classified as available-for-sale. Conclusions and Recommendations Some financial institutions provided disclosures that were not specific enough, lacked links between quantitative and narrative information, or provided disclosures that could not be reconciled to the primary financial statements. In particular, ESMA found: • it difficult to compare the income statements of the financial institutions, due to differences in their structure, the line items content and lack of comprehensive accounting policy disclosures; • that in many cases financial statements did not include sufficient information on the use of derivatives. The link between the business purpose and the classification in the financial statements was often unclear; and • significant divergence in the application of the significant or prolonged criteria when assessing impairment of the equity securities classified as available-for-sale. As a result of the conclusions and recommendations included in this review, ESMA expects enhanced disclosures to be provided in 2013 on exposures to credit risk, its mitigation e.g. by collateral, guarantees or credit default swaps, analysis of specific concentrations of credit risk and disclosure of impairment policies in order to enable investors to assess the overall credit risk. While progress was seen in the disclosures relating to forbearance practices following ESMA’s Public Statement in 2012, with more financial institutions providing information on forborne financial assets, ESMA expects financial institutions to provide more granular quantitative information on the effects of forbearance. This would enable investors to assess the level of credit risk related to forborne assets and their impact on the financial position and performance. Furthermore, ESMA believes that improving the level of transparency in the area of liquidity and funding risk, asset encumbrance and fair value measurement of financial instruments is needed as indicated in the ESMA Public Statement on the 2013 European Common Enforcement Priorities. Next Steps ESMA expects that national competent authorities will take appropriate enforcement actions where material breaches of the IFRS requirements have been identified as part of the review and will monitor their progress. As announced in the ESMA Public Statement on the 2013 European Common Enforcement Priorities, ESMA and national competent authorities will focus in the review of 2013 financial statements on a number of areas that are particularly relevant for financial institutions. ESMA will also provide suggestions to the IASB on those areas where it believes additional IFRS guidance can improve the quality and transparency of financial statements. Notes for editors 1. 2013/1664 Review of Accounting Practices - Comparability of IFRS Financial Statements of Financial Institutions in Europe. 2. 2013-1634 Public Statement - European common enforcement priorities for 2013 financial statements. 3. ESMA is an independent EU Authority that was established on 1 January 2011 and works closely with the other European Supervisory Authorities responsible for banking (EBA), and insurance and occupational pensions (EIOPA), and the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). 4. ESMA’s mission is to enhance the protection of investors and promote stable and well-functioning financial markets in the European Union (EU). As an independent institution, ESMA achieves this aim by building a single rule book for EU financial markets and ensuring its consistent application across the EU. ESMA contributes to the regulation of financial services firms with a pan-European reach, either through direct supervision or through the active co-ordination of national supervisory activity. Press Release 2013/1665 Final Report 2013/1664

03/12/2013 2013/1773 Agenda item request, Issues related to the application of IFRS 5 Letter PDF
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03/12/2013 2013/1774 Agenda item request, Classification and measurement of core inventories Letter PDF
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13/02/2014 2014/175 ESMA Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures , Consultation Paper PDF
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Reasons for publication In October 2005, the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), ESMA’s predecessor body, published a Recommendation on Alternative Performance Measures (“CESR Recommendation” CESR/05-178b). The CESR Recommendation was issued mainly in order to reinforce the objectives of Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 July 2002 on the application of international accounting standards. Given the CESR Recommendation has now been in force for more than 8 years, ESMA has decided to review it with the objective of strengthening the principles contained in it. ESMA now plans to re-issue the principles as ESMA [draft] guidelines thus ensuring that issuers and NCAs will make every effort to com-ply with them. Contents ESMA is issuing this Consultation Paper (CP) to inform market participants about the background to its decision to revise the CESR Recommendation and seek their views on such revision. Section II “Introduction” indicates the reasons for which ESMA believes that these [draft] guidelines on APMs should be issued. Section III “Scope and purpose of the [draft] guidelines” indicates when the [draft] guidelines apply and how these [draft] guidelines interact with financial statements. Section IV “Compliance and reporting obligations” describes how issuers and NCAs should comply with the [draft] guidelines. Section V “[Draft] Guidelines on APMs (Background)” describes the rationale followed in preparing the [draft] guidelines and explanations on the principles provided, which are included in full in Annex III. ESMA would appreciate any comments and answers from stakeholders on the questions contained in the consultation paper. For your convenience, the questions are summarised in annex II. Next steps ESMA will consider the feedback it receives to this consultation in 2014 and expects to publish final guide-lines in the fourth quarter of 2014.

09/04/2014 2014/377 15th Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is publishing extracts from its confidential database of enforcement decisions on financial statements, with the aim of providing issuers and users of financial statements with relevant information on the appropriate application of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).European enforcers monitor and review IFRS financial statements and consider whether they comply with IFRS and other applicable reporting requirements, including relevant national law. Publication of enforcement decisions will inform market participants about which accounting treatments European national enforcers may consider as complying with IFRS; that is, whether the treatments are considered as being within the accepted range of those permitted by IFRS. Such publication, together with the rationale behind these decisions, will contribute to a consistent application of IFRS in the EEA. Decisions included in this extract were taken by national enforcers in the period from December 2012 to November 2013. ESMA publishes extracts from the database twice a year.

23/05/2014 2014/551 IFRS Enforcement in Europe in 2013 , Final Report PDF
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16/06/2014 2014/643 Review on the application of accounting requirements for business combinations in IFRS financial statements , Final Report PDF
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This report evaluates the consistency of application of key requirements of IFRS 3 - Business Combinations and how compliant and entity-specific IFRS 3 disclosures are in the 2012 annual IFRS financial statements of a sample of 56 issuers in the European Union (EU). It also includes other IFRS 3 issues identified as part of the enforcement experience of European national enforcers (European Enforcers) that participate in the European Enforcers Coordination Sessions (EECS).

10/07/2014 2014/807 Final Report on ESMA Guidelines on enforcement of financial information , Final Report PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its final Guidelines on the enforcement of financial information published by listed entities in the European Union (EU). The aim of the guidelines is to strengthen and promote greater supervisory convergence in existing enforcement practices amongst EU accounting enforcers. The Guidelines set out the principles to be followed by accounting enforcers throughout the enforcement process by defining the objectives, the characteristics of the enforcers, and some common elements in the enforcement process.

28/10/2014 2014-1293 ESMA Guidelines on enforcement of financial information , Guidelines & Recommendations PDF
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BG  - Преводът е предоставен от Центъра за преводи за органите на Европейския съюз.CS - Tento překlad vypracovalo Překladatelské středisko pro instituce Evropské unie.DA - Denne oversættelse er udarbejdet af Oversættelsescentret for Den Europæiske Unions Organer.DE - Die Übersetzung erfolgte durch das Übersetzungszentrum für die Einrichtungen der Europäischen Union.EL - Η παρούσα μετάφραση έγινε από το Μεταφραστικό Κέντρο των Οργάνων της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης.ES - Texto traducido por el Centro de Traducción de los Órganos de la Unión Europea ET - Selle tõlke tegi Euroopa Liidu Asutuste Tõlkekeskus.FI - Euroopan unionin elinten käännöskeskus on tehnyt tämän käännöksen.FR - La présente traduction a été fournie par le Centre de traduction des organes de l’Union européenne. HR - Za prijevod se pobrinuo Prevoditeljski centar za tijela Europske unije.HU - Ezt a fordítást az Európai UnióIT - La presente traduzione è stata fornita dal Centro di traduzione degli organismi dell’Unione europea.LT - Šį tekstą išvertė Europos Sąjungos įstaigų vertimo centras.LV - Šo tulkojumu ir nodrošinājis Eiropas Savienības iestāžu Tulkošanas centrs.MT - Din it-traduzzjoni ġiet ipprovduta  miċ-Ċentru tat-Traduzzjoni għall-Korpi tal-Unjoni Ewropea.NL - Deze vertaling is verzorgd door het Vertaalbureau voor de organen van de Europese Unie.PL - Tłumaczenie wykonane przez Centrum Tłumaczeń dla Organów Unii Europejskiej.PT - Esta tradução foi fornecida pelo Centro de Tradução dos Organismos da União Europeia.RO - Această traducere a fost asigurată de Centrul de Traduceri pentru Organismele Uniunii Europene.SK - Preklad vyhotovilo Prekladateľské stredisko pre orgány Európskej únie.SL - Prevod je zagotovil Prevajalski center za organe Evropske unije.SV - Den här översättningen har utförts av Översättningscentrum för Europeiska unionens organ.

28/10/2014 2014/1309 Public Statement- European common enforcement priorities for 2014 financial statements , Statement PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (‘ESMA’) issues this Public Statement which defines the European common enforcement priorities in order to promote consistent application of the International Financial Reporting Standards (‘IFRS’) as indicated in the ESMA Guidelines on enforcement of financial information.As in the previous years, ESMA, together with European national enforcers, identified financial reporting topics which, listed companies and their auditors should particularly consider when preparing and auditing, respectively, the IFRS financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2014. In addition to these common priorities, national enforcers might also set additional enforcement priorities focusing on other relevant topics.ESMA, together with the European national enforcers, will pay particular attention to these common enforcement priorities as well as priorities identified in previous years, when monitoring and assessing the application of all relevant IFRS requirements. National enforcers will continue to focus on material issues in the financial statements that are relevant for an individual issuer under examination. On the basis of examinations performed, national enforcers will take corrective actions whenever material misstatements are identified. ESMA will report on findings regarding these priorities in its Report on the 2015 enforce-ment activities.

28/10/2014 2014/1310 Press Release- ESMA sets enforcement priorities for listed companies’ financial statements , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Public Statement on European Common Enforcement Priorities (Priorities) for 2014. These Priorities identify topics which ESMA, together with European national enforcers, see as a key focus of their examinations of listed companies’ financial statements.The common enforcement priorities encompass the following topics: Preparation and presentation of consolidated financial statements and related disclosures; Financial reporting by entities which have joint arrangements and related disclosures; and Recognition and measurement of deferred tax assets. These topics are important, as they either introduce significant changes to accounting practices following the implementation of new standards, or because the current economic environment poses particular challenges to issuers in the application of certain IFRS requirements, notably when forecasting future taxable profits in periods of low economic growth.Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “The aim of the common enforcement priorities is to achieve a high level of harmonisation in enforcement and to contribute to consistency in the application of IFRS across the EU. “In view of the impact of new standards on financial information, ESMA believes that listed companies and their auditors should pay particular attention in the areas of consolidated financial statements, joint arrangements and valuation of deferred tax assets when preparing and auditing their 2014 IFRS financial statements.“This will contribute to ensuring the relevance and reliability of financial information provided to investors, and ultimately contributes to the proper functioning of Europe’s capital markets.”Furthermore, the Public Statement highlights two areas that should be considered in the preparation of the 2014 financial statements. ESMA and the national enforcers expect EU listed banks to provide relevant information in relation to material impacts resulting from the European Central Bank’s Comprehensive Assessment of the banking sector and on any changes in the level of regulatory capital required. In addition, ESMA considers that findings included in the 2013 ESMA Report on comparability of financial statements of financial institutions continue to be of high relevance for the 2014 annual reports.  The Public Statement also encourages listed companies to provide entity-specific disclosures, relevant to their performance and financial situation at the end of the period presented. ESMA believes that the early involvement and commitment of senior management in this respect is vital to ensure that listed companies give relevant and reliable information to investors.Application will be monitored and supervisedESMA and European national enforcers will monitor and supervise the application of the IFRS requirements outlined in the Priorities, with national authorities incorporating them into their reviews and taking corrective actions where appropriate. ESMA will collect data on how European listed entities have applied the Priorities and will publish its findings in early 2016.Notes for editors 2014/1309 ESMA Public Statement  - European common enforcement priorities for 2014 financial statements 2014/1293 ESMA Guidelines on enforcement of financial information 2013/1664 ESMA Review of Accounting Practices -  Comparability of IFRS Financial Statements of Financial Institutions in Europe ESMA is an independent EU Authority that was established on 1 January 2011 and works closely with the other European Supervisory Authorities responsible for banking (EBA), and insurance and occupational pensions (EIOPA), and the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). ESMA’s mission is to enhance the protection of investors and promote stable and well-functioning financial markets in the European Union (EU).  As an independent institution, ESMA achieves this aim by building a single rule book for EU financial markets and ensuring its consistent application across the EU.  ESMA contributes to the regulation of financial services firms with a pan-European reach, either through direct supervision or through the active co-ordination of national supervisory activity.

18/11/2014 2014/1373 16th Extract from the EECS's Database of Enforcement Report PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is publishing extracts from its confidential database of enforcement decisions on financial statements, with the aim of providing issuers and users of financial statements with relevant information on the appropriate application of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).European enforcers monitor and review IFRS financial statements and consider whether they comply with IFRS and other applicable reporting requirements, including relevant national law.Publication of enforcement decisions will inform market participants about which accounting treatments European national enforcers may consider as complying with IFRS; that is, whether the treatments are considered as being within the accepted range of those permitted by IFRS. Such publication, together with the rationale behind these decisions, will contribute to a consistent application of IFRS in the EEA.Decisions included in this extract were taken by national enforcers in the period from August 2012 to March 2014. ESMA will continue publishing further extracts from the database on a regular basis, with the next extract expected to be published in the first half of 2015.

23/02/2015 2015/419 IFRS IC Agenda Item Request: Measurement of minimum funding requirement in pension asset ceiling test Letter PDF
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31/03/2015 2015/659 ESMA Report on Enforcement and Regulatory Activities of Accounting Enforcers in 2014 , Final Report PDF
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31/03/2015 2015/662 Press release: ESMA sees improved transparency of issuers financial statements – more information needed on forbearance practices and impairment tests , , Press Release PDF
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05/06/2015 2015/911 ESMA Submission to IFRS IC on Application of IAS 12 Letter PDF
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08/06/2015 2015/920 Impact of the Best Practice Principles for Providers of Shareholder Voting Research and Analysis , Consultation Paper PDF
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Responding to this Call for Evidence ESMA invites comments on all matters in this paper and in particular on the specific questions presented throughout the paper. Comments are most helpful, if they:a.    respond to the question stated;b.    indicate the specific question to which they relate; andc.    contain a clear rationale.  ESMA will consider all comments received by 27 July 2015. All contributions should be submitted online at www.esma.europa.eu under the heading ‘Your input - Consultations’. Publication of responses All contributions received will be published following the close of the Call for Evidence, unless you request otherwise.  Please clearly and prominently indicate in your submission any part you do not wish to be publically disclosed. A standard confidentiality statement in an email message will not be treated as a request for non-disclosure. A confidential response may be requested from us in accordance with ESMA’s rules on access to documents. We may consult you, if we receive such a request. Any decision we make not to disclose the response is reviewable by ESMA’s Board of Appeal and the European Ombudsman.Data protection Information on data protection can be found at www.esma.europa.eu under the heading Legal Notice.Who should read this Call for Evidence This Call for Evidence will be of relevance to persons and entities participating in the voting chain, particularly proxy advisors, investors, companies listed in Europe, proxy solicitors and consultants.