Ireland applies to host European Banking Authority after Brexit

Posted August 02, 2017

Which countries are seriously interested in hosting the headquarters of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which has to move from London after Brexit?

Nearly all European Union countries are likely to bid to host the two major regulatory agencies that have to be relocated from London, setting up a potential squabble between the 27 remaining members that have so far shown a united front on Brexit.

The deadline for applications was Monday at midnight.

The European Commission will assess the candidates by September but the decision rests with EU leaders who will try to reach a consensus deal at their next summit, in October.

Eight cities have applied for EBA, which employs 160 people and writes and coordinates banking rules for the bloc.

Cities hoping for the EBA are: Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Paris, Prague, Luxembourg City, Vienna, Warsaw.

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The European Commission's assessment will consider criteria such as accessibility for current employees, work opportunities for their spouses and schools for their children.

Each country could bid to host one or both agencies, but was only allowed one bid per agency.

The cities seen as leading the race for the EMA are Amsterdam, Barcelona and Lille in France, with Athens, Bonn, Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, Milan, Porto, Sofia, Stockholm, Malta, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb also in contention.

European Union affairs ministers will first vote to choose the EMA location, before voting on the EBA's new city, using a complex voting system that could end up with Estonia, the current European Union presidency, "drawing lots" if there is no victor after three rounds.

Eleven other European cities are also candidates. Ministers will then hold a vote in November in a process some have likened to the Eurovision Song Contest. This includes about 40,000 hotel stays for visitors each year.

Amid the rivalry to host the EMA, the Netherlands, Ireland and Denmark have hosted events in Brussels to promote their bids The number of states vying for the EMA is reckoned to be 21.