A total of 19 countries are vying to host the European Medicines Agency after Brexit — six of which are also bidding to win the European Banking Authority. The EU27 will choose a winner for each agency after up to three rounds of secret voting.
The application procedure to host the two UK-based EU agencies formally came to a close this week.
The European Commission will now assess all offers in what it calls “an objective manner” and on the basis of the criteria set out by President Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, his council counterpart.
A commission source said, “In order to allow for a smooth and timely relocation of the two agencies, a final decision will be taken at the General Affairs Council in November.”
Interested Member States had until midnight on 31 July to submit their offers to the European Commission and the Council.
The cities bidding to host the EMA, as on 1 August 2017 are:
Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
The EMA is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU.
These are the cities seeking to host the EBA:
Prague (Czech Republic)
The EBA works to ensure effective and consistent prudential regulation and supervision across the European banking sector.
The applications will be assessed on the basis of six criteria including that the agency will be operational when the UK leaves the EU; accessibility of the location; schools for the children of the staff and access to the labour market and health care for the employees’ families.
The decision to relocate the EMA and the EBA – both of which are currently situated in London – is for the governments of member states to take. Their relocation is a direct consequence of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. It does not form part of the Brexit negotiations, launched last month.
The Commission has repeatedly called for a quick decision on the transfer, as the EMA and the EBA are seen as being two key EU regulatory bodies which must continue to function smoothly and without disruption beyond March 2019.
Meanwhile, notes from a private briefing to the European parliament’s budget committee warn that 75% of the EMA’s 890 workers “would not want to go to a new location.”
This comes after UK Conservative MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has urged the UK government to retain the high-skilled scientists currently working at the EMA.
He said, “A lot of those people were involved in shaping the European legislation and I imagine our legislation will have to be very similar to the Europeans.
“If there is anything economically and legitimately sensible that we could do we should try and keep them.”
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