Published: Wed, August 02, 2017
World News | By Cecilia Wilkerson

Ireland bids to host two major UK-based European Union agencies after Brexit

Ireland bids to host two major UK-based European Union agencies after Brexit

The EU is planning to move both the European Banking Authority with 159 employees, as well as the European Medicines Agency with 890 full-time staff and 36,000 visiting experts each year from London.

Ireland has submitted its formal bid to relocate the European Medicines Agency (EMA) from London to Dublin.

The frontrunners are 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.

Some 19 cities are bidding to host the EMA, which is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the European Union and maintains the single market for medicines in the EU.

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The Irish Government has made formal bids to host both the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), now based in London's Canary Wharf.

MEPs were told last month that 75 per cent of staff at the European Medicines Agency plan to stay in the United Kingdom even when the agency moves, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Only Hungary, Slovenia, Cyprus and the three Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia decided not to join the fray.

Criteria include the "accessibility of the location", "adequate education facilities for the children of staff members" and "appropriate access to the labour market, social security and medical care for both children and spouses".

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The choice will also have to take into account the so-called geographical spread - an effort to have agencies in as many member states as possible.

In the past, races for such agencies became heated, but European Union diplomats have said they are keen to avoid disrupting the unity the bloc has found over Brexit.

Around 20 cities, including Dublin, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Paris, and Prague, are understood to be keen to host the agencies.

The European Parliament representative for the EMA and Member of the European Parliament from Croatia Biljana Borzan says that, in the past months, there is a fierce competition among countries which want to host the agency.

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