Brexit: 23 cities in race to host European Union agencies

GettyOnly five EU member states vying for the EMA have actually visited the premises

GettyOnly five EU member states vying for the EMA have actually visited the premises

BRUSSELS | No less than 23 cities were candidates to host the two european agencies, which will leave London following a Brexit, with the key economic benefits of promising.

According to Council of the European Union, EU members states have officially proposed 23 European cities that could be used as post-Brexit relocation sites for the two EU agencies now based in the United Kingdom.

Monday was the last day to apply, and the list was published on Tuesday by the Council of the European Union, where representatives of member states meet.

Vienna, Warsaw, Dublin and Brussels, which is home to the EU's executive Commission, submitted applications to host both the agencies.

"We will now proceed in assessing all offers in an objective manner", European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told reporters. The country aims to host the European Banking Authority (EBA).

Nineteen cities are bidding for EMA, which has almost 900 staff and acts as a one-stop-shop for approving and monitoring the safety of drugs across Europe.

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The cities seen as leading the race for the EMA are Amsterdam, Barcelona and Lille in France, with Athens, Bonn, Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, Milan, Porto, Sofia, Stockholm, Malta, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb also in contention.

The EMA is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU.

Among criteria for selection are a city's infrastructure, transport links, jobs for employees' families, and the need to spread European Union institutions around Europe.

The Grand Duchy, whose economy is based on financial services and which already hosts the Court of Justice of the EU, the Court of Auditors, the European Investment Bank and the European Stability Mechanism, says it is "the natural choice" for the EBA. The EU 27 will then hold a political discussion on the offers in October before a secret vote in November.

Each country could bid to host one or both agencies, but was only allowed one bid per agency. "This includes 40,000 hotel stays for visitors each year", the BBC article noted.

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