Wednesday

8th Feb 2023

EU sets out criteria for relocating UK agencies

  • London will wave goodbye to the EU banking and medicines regulator in 2019 (Photo: Rob Bye)

EU countries bidding to host the bloc’s banking and drugs regulators after Brexit will have to submit their entries by 31 July.

According to an 18-page document circulated among member states earlier this week, a decision will be made by October on which city should host the now London-based European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The document, seen by the Financial Times and Bloomberg, was co-authored by European Council president Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

It says the relocated agencies must be functional by the time the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.

The criteria say that no country can host both agencies and that cities will have to be able to provide hotel space for an average 30,000 visitors a year for the medicines agency and 9,000 people for the banking regulator.

The new host city must have adequate international schooling for the staff’s children and needs to provide space for the drug agency’s archive of 34,000 boxes.

The two agencies employ more than 1,000 staff.

The criteria also cites a 2003 principle to place new agencies in new member states as something to be taken into account during the decision making, but the document points out that finding a new home for the two agencies means relocation rather than setting up a new agency.

Currently, no EU body is based in Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus, or Slovakia.

More than 20 EU countries are vying for one or both of the agencies.

The Commission will assess applications by mid-September and EU ministers will decide in October.

There will be rounds of voting until two finalists emerge and the winner will need a majority of votes from fellow EU members.

The relocation will come with sizeable costs that the EU expects Britain to pay for.

The EMA will have to pay rent of €16 million a year for its London headquarters until 2039 based on a recently signed lease without the possibility to get out of the agreement before that.

The EBA’s rent runs until 2020, but the agency can leave early if it pays a fee of around €3 million.

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.

Barnier unveils EU's Brexit goals

Barnier to set out EU negotiating positions on citizens' rights, divorce costs, and Ireland in Brexit talks, amid a prickly atmosphere between London and Brussels.

EUobserved

Scramble for UK agencies paves way for Trumpian claims

The Spanish health minister this week bragged that Barcelona was “the best city”, had “the best building”, and “the best infrastructure” to host the EU's medicines agency post-Brexit.

Opinion

Wales' message to Europe: 'We'll be back'

The scars of Brexit have left their mark in communities across Wales. The Menai mussel industry has experienced a sharp decline having once been a staple in fish counters and restaurants across Europe; its business model wrecked by post-Brexit rules.

Opinion

The return of Lula means now is the time for EU-Mercosur deal

The EU must realise the need for a trade agreement with Mercosur. The timing has never been better. The recent election of the president of Brazil, Lula da Silva, marks a fresh start to move forward on the Mercosur Agreement.

Latest News

  1. Polish MEP also went on freelance Azerbaijan trip
  2. Why Europe's interminable compromises are a virtue
  3. Wales' message to Europe: 'We'll be back'
  4. MEPs to vote on risky 'hydrogen for home heating' rule
  5. The man who won't stop filing info requests until every EU doc is public
  6. EU hands Libya coast guard boats ahead of migration summit
  7. Eleven suicides daily — Spain's not-so-silent pandemic
  8. The return of Lula means now is the time for EU-Mercosur deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWWEU Social Dialogue review – publication of the European Commission package and joint statement of ETUFs
  2. Oxfam InternationalPan Africa Program Progress Report 2022 - Post Covid and Beyond
  3. WWFWWF Living Planet Report
  4. EFBWWEFBWW Executive Committee report on major abuses, labour crime and subcontracting
  5. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  6. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us