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ESG - Governance

Governance at the ESM

The ESM has a robust governance framework in place which ensures strong accountability and transparency vis-à-vis both the ESM shareholders and other stakeholders.

ESM Governance structure and shareholder engagement

The ESM governing bodies are the Board of Governors and the Board of Directors. The Managing Director is appointed by the Board of Governors and conducts the current business of the ESM under the direction of the Board of Directors. In line with best practices, the Managing Director publishes a declaration of financial interests on the ESM website.

Furthermore, the ESM has in place three layers of audit oversight to ensure the accountability of the ESM. These are provided by the independent Board of Auditors which is appointed by the Board of Governors, as well as the internal audit function and the external auditor.

Annual Meeting of the ESM Board of Governors

The ESM strives to maintain strong and effective shareholder relations by actively participating in the various political fora where its shareholders are represented and by hosting an annual Shareholders' Day during which the ESM welcomes representatives from the finance ministries of all ESM Members.

Transparency and accountability

Shareholders Day

The ESM has in place several measures to ensure that all stakeholders and the general public have a good understanding of the ESM mandate, its work, and decision-making processes. For more information, please visit the ESM Transparency page.

ESM ESG working group

The ESM established an ESG liaison group to discuss, coordinate, and report on ongoing and envisioned internal ESG initiatives. The working group meets on a regular basis and reports periodically to the management board, ensuring oversight of ESG initiatives within the institution.

National Parliaments

The ESM Governors are the finance ministers of the euro area countries. As members of the national governments, they are accountable to the national parliaments of the ESM Members. Furthermore, some ESM Members conduct national parliamentary procedures in the context of the approval of important ESM decisions. In addition, the ESM Managing Director is also periodically invited by national parliaments to provide updates on ESM activities.

European Parliament

The Managing Director presents to the European Parliament, on a voluntary basis, important developments concerning ESM activities and the euro area.


Transparency for the ESM legal documents and policies

To increase the familiarity of the public with the ESM's work, the ESM proactively publishes a wide range of legal documents and policies, while respecting the confidentiality requirements of the ESM Treaty and By-Laws.

Transparency for programme-related decisions

The ESM regularly publishes on its website programme-related Board of Governors and Board of Directors documents such as annotated agendas and summaries of decisions.

Communication with the investor community

Transparency has been a crucial element to the ESM's funding strategy. The ESM Funding and Investors Relations team builds a long-term relationship with investors to understand the way they work and better respond to their investment requirements.

Transparency International

A quarterly newsletter is sent to the bond market community, which states the annual funding target, as well as the amount of funding to be raised for the quarter to come. It also provides the dates of the bill auctions for the upcoming quarter and the potential weeks when the ESM and EFSF may issue bonds. This information is available in the Investor Relations section of the ESM website.

For more information, please visit the ESM Transparency page.

Stakeholder engagement

Engagement with civil society organisations

The ESM also engages with civil society organisations. For example, in 2017 representatives of the NGO Transparency International conducted interviews with the Managing Director and senior staff at the ESM premises. Please find a link to Transparency International’s report on the ESM “From Crisis to Stability”.

Dialogue with the media

The Managing Director and senior management give frequent interviews, presentations, and speeches. These activities are shared with the public through the ESM’s Twitter account and transcripts are made available on the ESM website.

Media interviews

Engagement with the public

The ESM welcomes visitor groups to learn about the ESM and its activities. Each year, hundreds of citizens come from Europe, Asia, and the United States to learn about the ESM’s general and programme-related activities. Professional experts give presentations and engage with staff on specialised legal, economic, and risk-related issues.


The ESM publishes an annual report, as well as two professional paper series. The Working Paper series showcases the ESM’s expertise in the economic and banking areas, while the Discussion Papers seek to spur debate around issues related to the ESM’s mandate.


The ESM procures supplies, services and works in accordance with the highest standards of integrity, ethical and professional conduct, and in compliance with the applicable ESM policies and procedures, including the Code of Conduct. When conducting an ESM procurement procedure, the ESM respects the general principles of transparency, proportionality, equal treatment and non-discrimination. The ESM's Procurement Review Procedure includes the possibility of filing requests for review by unsuccessful candidates.