European cities vie for London's EU agencies

Trevor Jackson
August 1, 2017

THE battle for the spoils of Brexit began yesterday as 23 European cities launched their bids to host two London-based EU regulatory agencies that will be forced to leave the British capital.

The expected to leave the European Union in 2019 as a result of a 2016 referendum which began the process of ending the country's 44-year membership of the bloc.

In total eight offers have been made to host the EBA, which regulates the European banking sector, assessing risks and vulnerabilities by carrying out EU-wide stress tests.

Milan is one of 19 cities vying to host the EMA.

Michael D'Arcy, Minister of State with Responsibility for Financial Services, confirmed on Monday that the Department of Finance has formally applied to the European Commission to move the authority to Dublin after Brexit.

Only Hungary, Slovenia, Cyprus and the three Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia decided not to enter the competition.

Accessibility and efficient infrastructure are the top two agreed criteria.

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The Minister for Health, Simon Harris has today claimed that Dublin is the ideal new home for the European Medicines Agency.

The choice will also have to take into account the so-called geographical spread - an effort to have agencies in as many member states as possible.

The detail of each tender is available on the website of the Council of the European Union, a body which brings together 28 member countries, sometimes with videos touting the merits of the candidates.

The european Commission will be responsible to evaluate the applications by 30 September, without however proposing classification. Ministers will then hold a vote in November in a process some have likened to the Eurovision Song Contest.

"Luxembourg has not positioned itself as vultures circling round the Tower of London waiting for all those jobs to fly out our way", Luxembourg's ambassador George Friden told reporters in Brussels.

"The financial centre of Luxembourg (...) a fruitful relationship with the city of London and we really want that to continue", assured George Friden. It is also required that the headquarters building should be of appropriate size, so Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands announced they would be ready to construct new buildings for the EMA offices.

Luxembourg's main competitors are Paris, where the European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma) is located, and Frankfurt, which is home to the European Central Bank and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (Eiopa).

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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