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European Union states compete to host London-based agencies after Brexit

02 August 2017

The Council of the European Union said Tuesday that it has received requests from 23 European cities to host two agencies now based in Britain - the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority.

The EBA, whose 160 employees write and coordinate banking rules for the bloc, is coveted by Frankfurt, Paris, Luxembourg and Prague, among others.

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.

"We will now proceed in assessing all offers in an objective manner", said European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva.

Vienna, Warsaw, Dublin and Brussels submitted applications to host both agencies.

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Milan, Copenhagen, Athens, Amsterdam and Barcelona are among the candidates to host the agency, with Milan seen as a possible frontrunner.

Accessibility and efficient infrastructure are the top two agreed criteria.

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. Ministers will then hold a vote in November in a process some have likened to the Eurovision Song Contest.

The competition will be fierce for the AEM, which has almost 900 employees: 19 cities have applied. While they are allowed to vote for themselves they are also expected to take the commission's assessments into account. Each member State will have six points to distribute during the first round of voting: three for his first choice, two to his second, one for third.

The applications will be assessed on guarantees the agency will be operational when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, accessibility of the location, schools for the children of the staff, access to the labour market and health care for the employees' families, business continuity and geographical spread.

European Union states compete to host London-based agencies after Brexit