Dublin is a flawless home for the European Medicines Agency says Minister

Kristopher Drake
August 1, 2017

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 vote will consist of successive voting rounds as needed, with the votes cast by secret ballot and each of the 27 member states having the same number of votes.

Slick videos and glossy brochures abounded as the EU announced that 19 cities were candidates to be the new home of the European Medicines Agency, and eight to host the European Banking Authority.

"We will now proceed in assessing all offers in an objective manner", said European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva.

The criteria also specify that the agencies must be able to take up its functions in the new location at the date of Brexit and still be able to "attract highly qualified staff".

The Irish Government has entered bids for both agencies, along with Germany, France, Austria, Poland and Belgium.

A political discussion in October will precede the private vote in November.

Competing against other European Union bids, it says a Dublin move would be the least disruptive for the agencies' staff.

"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 State has formally applied to Brussels to host the European Banking Authority after the United Kingdom leaves the EU in 2019.

The Grand Duchy, whose economy is based on financial services and which already hosts the Court of Justice of the EU, the Court of Auditors, the European Investment Bank and the European Stability Mechanism, says it is "the natural choice" for the EBA.

"The financial centre of Luxembourg (...) a fruitful relationship with the city of London and we really want that to continue", assured George Friden.

The EMA looks like its best chance with the bid emphasising Ireland's expertise in life science and a proximity to London which could help the agency hold on to key staff.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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