Thursday

21st Sep 2017

New headquarters to clear €1bn, ECB admits

  • Occupy protesters outside the Frankfurt HQ earlier this year - German police have evicted the camp (Photo: Valentina Pop)

The cost of the European Central Bank's (ECB) new 45-floor headquarters will clear €1 billion according to a statement released by the bank to celebrate its "topping out ceremony."

At an opening even attended by Frankfurt's Mayor Peter Feldmann, ECB executive board member, Jorg Asmussen, said that the total cost of the twin tower skyscraper would be around €200 million higher than the original €850 million budget. He added that €530 million had already been spent on the work.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Building started in 2010 on the site of 1920s listed-building Grossmarkthalle, which had previously been used for Frankfurt's wholesale food market.

The building, which stands at 185 metres, consists of two polygonal office towers with 45 and 43 floors, respectively, connected by an atrium.

Described in the project plans as a "vertical city," the towers will bring the ECB's 2,600 staff together under the same roof.

Asmussen blamed the extra costs on unforeseen problems in converting the site, including late discoveries of contamination of the roof and insufficient steel support structures, as well as difficulties in finding a contractor to lead with the building work when the tender was originally put out in 2008.

He added that "the new premises will provide the ECB with a modern and functional headquarters, and I hope that they will be viewed by the people of Frankfurt, and beyond, as an enrichment of Frankfurt’s skyline and the landscape of Europe."

The construction is also running six months late, but the bank insists that it will be ready to open in January 2014.

Since its creation in 1998, the ECB has never owned its own home, instead renting its current "eurotower" headquarters as well as two other office blocks in the centre of Frankfurt.

The revelation comes at an awkward time for the ECB, which has been a chief player in the EU's response to the eurozone debt crisis.

Together with the European Commission and the IMF, the bank has formed part of the "Troika," demanding severe austerity measures from Greece, Ireland and Portugal in return for multi-billion euro bailouts. I

It has also played an active role in keeping government lending costs down through its bond-buying programmes.

Barnier: UK risks undermining trust in Brexit talks

A day before UK PM Theresa May sets out her Brexit strategy in Florence, top EU negotiator Michel Barnier told lawmakers in Rome: there can be no transitional deal for the UK without a withdrawal agreement.

EU 'embarrassed' by Catalan 'taboo'

Faced with the growing tension between the Spanish and Catalan governments, the member states and EU institutions would prefer not to get involved.

EU takes time to ponder tech giant tax

The EU commission published a paper that outlined several options on how to increase tax income from internet companies' activities, but fell short of proposing legislation.

Barnier: UK risks undermining trust in Brexit talks

A day before UK PM Theresa May sets out her Brexit strategy in Florence, top EU negotiator Michel Barnier told lawmakers in Rome: there can be no transitional deal for the UK without a withdrawal agreement.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  2. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  3. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  4. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  5. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  6. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  8. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  9. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  10. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  11. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel
  12. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Urges Bigger Global Role for Emerging Economies