No less than 23 cities have applied to host the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority. The two European agencies will leave London after Brexit. At stake ? Promising economic benefits.
“We too have a chic queen” , the Dutch launched their video extolling the merits of Amsterdam and its fish and chips. The city wants to host the European Medicines Agency(EMA as the acronym).
Competition will be fierce for this agency who must leave the UK after Brexit. It has nearly 900 employees: 19 cities have applied. It supports scientific evaluation, supervision and security controls for medicines for human and veterinary uses marketed in the European Union.
Eight other cities have offered to host the European Banking Authority (EBA according to the English acronym), less important but still nearly 200 employees.
The 27 remaining Member States in the EU after the UK had until midnight Monday to present a single candidate for each agency.
France proposes Lille and Paris
Thus France has proposed Lille, in the north, for medical Agency and Paris for the Banking Agency. Germany has offered Bonn and Frankfurt. Four Member States have chosen to offer one city for both agencies: Belgium, Ireland, Austria and Poland, who offered their capitals.
Other cities in the majority of Member States are competing for the Medicines Agency: Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Bratislava, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Helsinki , Milan, Porto, Sofia, Stockholm, Malta and Zagreb.
Prague and Luxembourg are also candidates to host the Banking Authority.
The stakes are high, with the winners or the arrival of hundreds of employees, their families, and the economic benefits that result. It is also a first test of the remaining unit of 27 states, displayed from the preparation of negotiations Brexit.
The EMA, installed since 1995 in the Canary Wharf business district in London, has generated such reservations as 30,000 overnight stays in hotels for its many visitors in 2015.
The EBA, also based in London and founded in 2011, is known for resistance tests it conducts on European banks. Visitors generate bookings of nearly 9000 hotel nights per year.
Not “vultures circling around the towers of London”
The details of each offer is available on the website of the EU Council, a body that brings together 28 member countries, sometimes accompanied by videos extolling the merits of the candidates.
Malta and Poland are witness their expatriates. The Irish and Danish Prime Ministers play the VRP. The leases in France a nod his “lifestyle” : aperitif on the terrace and cheese.
Luxembourg Ambassador to Brussels presented himself the nomination of his city, ensuring that the Europeans were not “vultures circling around the towers of London, waiting for these jobs fly to us” .
“The financial center of Luxembourg […] a successful relationship with the City of London and we really want this to continue” he assured George Friden.
Decision in November
Future headquarters of both agencies will be decided by a vote of 27 Member States on the 20th November. The European Commission will be responsible for assessing applications by the 30th September, without proposing ranking.
Several criteria were defined, besides the ability to be operational from the transfer, which will be done before the British departure EU (no later than March 2019): accessibility, presence of schools, access the labor market and health care. A certain geographical balance in the distribution with the other EU agencies will also be respected.
The vote will be by secret ballot. Each Member State will have 6 points to distribute during a first round of voting, three for his first choice, two for the second, the third.
If a site collects three points from at least 14 Member States, he won the bet. Otherwise, two rounds of additional voting can still be organized, keeping the most requested applications each time.