Tuesday

18th Jun 2019

Commission begins process for EU agencies relocation

  • Two EU agencies will leave London because of Brexit (Photo: Bill Smith)

The European Commission published two legislative proposals on Wednesday (29 November) which will cement in law the decision to relocate two London-based EU agencies to Amsterdam and Paris due to Brexit.

The legislation governing the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be amended with the sentence that it "shall have its seat in Amsterdam, the Netherlands", while the European Banking Authority's (EBA) regulation will say the authority "shall have its seat in Paris, France".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"The Commission is acting swiftly in order to provide legal certainty and clarity, ensuring that both agencies can continue to function smoothly and without disruption beyond March 2019," the Commission said in a press release.

March 2019 is when the UK is expected to leave the EU.

The two proposals need to be adopted by the Council of the EU, which represents national governments, and the European Parliament.

The commission said it expected the two institutions "to give priority to the handling of these legislative proposals" and added that they are "strictly limited to confirming the new seats of the agencies in the two founding regulations".

Being adopted in the Council should not be a problem, since the decision for Amsterdam and Paris was taken by the EU and foreign affairs ministers in a council meeting last week.

The parliament could, in theory, delay the whole process, which could bring uncertainty to the roughly 1,000 members of the two agencies.

In the so-called co-decision procedure, the parliament has the right to introduce amendments. If an amended version of the proposal is adopted, the commission would then have to mediate between the parliament's version and the council's.

That would lead to, as one EU source called it, "a mess".

A spokesman for the European People's Party, the largest group in the European Parliament, told this website that there was no formal agreement yet in the parliament how to proceed with these files.

Spokesman Jan Krelina for the European Conservatives and Reformists group, home to UK prime minister Theresa May's Conservative party, said it would treat the proposals "as any other legislation".

"There is no reason to delay it. We respect member states' decision so I don't expect any additional amendments from our side," said Krelina.

Similar responses came from the far left GUE/NGL group. Other groups did not respond to a request to comment.

Amsterdam wins EU medicines agency on coin toss

The staff of the London-based EMA will move to the Dutch city of Amsterdam after Brexit, following a coin toss. Chance also decided the new home of the European Banking Authority: Paris.

'We are not there yet', Barnier tells UK

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator dismissed reports on a 'deal' on the divorce bill with the UK, as the Irish border issue remains a key hurdle to move negotiations into the second phase after the December summit.

New 'ID' far-right EU parliament group falls short

The new far-right Identity and Democracy (ID) political group fails to muster enough support among other eurosceptics to become a heavyweight in the European Parliament. But with 73 MEPs, from nine EU states, it managed to secure the fifth spot.

News in Brief

  1. France, Germany and Spain in fighter jet deal
  2. Tusk grilled in Poland over role as PM
  3. Italy is 'most credible' US partner in EU, says Salvini
  4. EU blames Sudan junta for killings and rapes
  5. Report: EU may suspend Turkey customs union talks
  6. Swiss stock exchange could lose EU access in July
  7. Austria's Strache will not take up EU parliament seat
  8. Tanker attacks pose questions for EU on Iran deal

Magazine

The changing of the guards in the EU in 2019

The four most powerful EU institutions - Commission, Parliament, Council and Central Bank will all have new leaders in the coming ten months. Here is an overview.

Magazine

Explained: What is the European Parliament?

While domestic political parties often use the European Parliament as a dumping ground for unwanted politicians - and a majority of citizens don't bother to vote - the parliament, over the years, has become a dominant force in the EU.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  3. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  5. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  6. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  7. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  8. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody

Latest News

  1. Macron and Mogherini decline to back US accusation on Iran
  2. EU summit must give effective answer on migration
  3. Spain's Garcia set to be next Socialist leader in parliament
  4. Erdogan mocks Macron amid EU sanctions threat
  5. The most dangerous pesticide you've never heard of
  6. 'Russian sources' targeted EU elections with disinformation
  7. Top EU jobs summit dominates This WEEK
  8. EP parties planning 'coalition agenda' ahead of jobs summit

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us