Tuesday

26th Sep 2017

Decision on post-Brexit home for EU agencies postponed

  • Two EU agencies are based in London. They will have to move when the UK leaves the EU. (Photo: Jaypeg)

EU leaders have postponed the decision on relocating two EU agencies currently in the UK, from October to November.

They adopted on Thursday (22 June), the first day of a two-day summit in Brussels, the procedure for how the new headquarters of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA), both based in London currently, will be selected.

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.

Some 1,000 staff are in limbo over where their place of employment will be located when the UK leaves the EU in 2019.

It was decided that interior ministers would vote on the new host countries at the so-called general affairs council (GAC).

In a draft text seen by EUobserver, the vote was originally scheduled for the GAC on 17 October, but EU leaders decided to postpone it to 14 November.

Nevertheless, an EU source said “we are envisaging a record-breaking quick decision”.

Other parts of the timeline, however, have not been changed - countries have a deadline of 31 July to submit their bids for hosting the agencies and the European Commission should have the bids assessed by 30 September.

Each bid would be assessed based on six criteria, which were agreed on Thursday.

The GAC on 17 October will instead facilitate a “political discussion” about the candidate countries. That discussion should be held “on the basis of the commission's assessment”.

The idea behind having a political discussion is to ensure that the EU agencies end up in a place that has the capacity to host it, and not be moved to a country that managed to rally votes through political horse-trading.

Another last-minute addition was the requirement to have EU heads of state and government updated about the ministers' progress by the rotating presidency of the Council – by then Estonian prime minister Juri Ratas – at the EU summit scheduled for 19-20 October.

This is a slight change from the original proposed process, which saw the discussion and vote at the same October ministerial meeting.

The procedure adopted on Thursday was accompanied by a specific clause stressing that it “does not constitute a precedent for location of agencies in the future”.

EU Council spokesman Preben Aamann tweeted that the discussion on the voting procedure took only four minutes.

Focus

Crowded race to win EU medicines agency

As cities line up to take over the European Medicines Agency some fear a kerfuffle that could destabilise the agency's work and slow down the pace of approving new medicines.

May seeks EU grace period

Eagerly awaited Brexit speech was short on details, but May pledged to honour financial commitments while calling for a two-year transition deal after the UK left.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEEU Finance Ministers Agreed to Develop New Digital Taxation Rules
  2. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  3. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  4. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  5. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  6. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  7. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  9. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  10. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  11. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  12. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel