Friday

23rd Jun 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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

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.

EU extends sanctions on Russia

German chancellor Angela Merkel said that Russia hadn't done enough to implement the so-called Minsk peace process, a condition for lifting the sanctions.

Focus

UK's universities set 'Brexit wish list'

British academics want to guarantee residency and work rights for their EU staff, as well as "enhanced mobility opportunities" for UK and EU students, mostly by keeping British participation in EU funding programs.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel and Macron hold symbolic joint press conference
  2. Juncker has 'no' clear idea of kind of Brexit UK wants
  3. Belgian PM calls May's proposal on EU citizens 'vague'
  4. UK lacks support of EU countries in UN vote
  5. Spain to command anti-smuggler Mediterranean force
  6. Estonia confirms opposition to Nord Stream 2 pipeline
  7. Ireland and Denmark outside EU military plan
  8. EU leaders renew vows to uphold Paris climate deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  2. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  3. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  4. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  5. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  6. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  7. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  8. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  9. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?
  11. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Charges: What Does It Entail?
  12. World VisionWorld Refugee Day, a Dark Reminder of the Reality of Children on the Move

Latest News

  1. Macron’s investment screening idea watered down by leaders
  2. Leaders unimpressed by May’s offer to EU citizens
  3. New Irish PM praises unscripted nature of EU summits
  4. EU extends sanctions on Russia
  5. UK's universities set 'Brexit wish list'
  6. Decision on post-Brexit home for EU agencies postponed
  7. May's offer on citizens’ rights dismissed as ‘pathetic’
  8. 'Historic' defence plan gets launch date at EU summit