Thursday

22nd Apr 2021

Magazine

The EU Agencies Race

When the EU Agencies Network presented the work of its members at the end of 2016, its chairman at the time, Antonio Campinos, of the European Union Intellectual Property Office, admitted that some agencies are "largely unknown even at EU institutional level". But two of the 45 bodies that are members of the network have inevitably seen rising fame in recent months: the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA).

With the UK exiting the EU, these two London-based agencies need a new home. Many EU member states have raised their hands and expressed interest. This has resulted in a beauty pageant, where 23 cities compete to host one, or even both agencies.

Read and decide

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On Friday (6 October), the member states' highest diplomats will meet in Brussels, and those in the race will give a three-minute presentation of their bids. This will be followed by a discussion at the EU summit on 19-20 October, and finally a vote by interior and EU affairs ministers next month (currently scheduled for 20 November.)

The process provides an interesting occasion for cities to highlight the qualities they think will convince people of moving there - even though the final decision for the future home of the EMA and EBA is ultimately one of political haggling.

In this edition of EUobserver's Regions & Cities magazine, we take a closer look at some of the EU agencies, exploring how their location matters and the benefits for cities and regions to host them.

How will London fare without the EMA and EBA? What was the socio-economic impact of the EUIPO in the region of Valencia? What compromises did Poland make to become the host of the rapidly growing migration agency Frontex? How did cities and regions position themselves in their bid for two of the most high-profile agencies?

Read on to find out!

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