Europe News

Here are the cities competing to take EU agencies away from London post-Brexit

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Brexit is happening and with it Europe needs to decide where to relocate the two European agencies currently based in the United Kingdom.

Eight cities have applied to become the next host of the European Banking Authority (EBA) - an organization with 159 employees that assesses risks and vulnerabilities in the banking sector.

Another 19 applications were submitted to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which oversees medicines across the member bloc.

The remaining 27 member countries of the EU will decide on the relocations at a meeting due in November. The criteria for their decisions include:

  • Guarantees that the agency will be operational when the U.K. exits the Union
  • Schools for the children of the staff
  • Access to the labor market and health care for employees' families
  • Geographical spread

Here are the cities that have proposed hosting the EBA:


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It's already considered the European capital, hosting most of the European institutions, including the European Commission and the European Council.


Dublin may become the next big financial center in Europe as London exits the E.U.
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The Irish capital has been one of the most vocal trying to convince businesses from the City of London to choose Dublin as their European headquarters.

The Irish government has also offered 10 million euros ($11.82 million) to host the European Medicines Agency.


The new ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.
Wolfgang Rattay | Reuters

A strong argument supporting Frankfurt's application is that it is the headquarters for the European Central Bank, which controls monetary policy in the euro zone.

Several banks in the City of London have mentioned Frankfurt as the most likely city to benefit if they do move jobs away from London.


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France has also been one of the strongest campaigners in persuading banks from London to relocate to Paris.

The recently elected government has unveiled a series of measures aimed at making Paris "Europe's leading financial center after Brexit."


Prague, Czech Republic
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The capital of the Czech Republic might not be the first city that springs to mind when thinking about European banks. However, Prague argues that its central geographical position is a key argument to host the EBA.

The government in the Czech Republic also wants to show its commitment to the single market and the EU in general and, as result, to distinguish itself from other eastern European countries that are currently taking a less EU-friendly approach.


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It might be a small city but Luxembourg, one of the founding members of the EU, hosts several European institutions. The European Investment Bank, the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Auditors and the Eurostat statistics agency are among those headquartered in Luxembourg.

The government in Luxembourg has also made its case for banks in London to relocate there.


The christmas market at the town hall of Vienna is seen during sunset on December 5, 2016 in Vienna, Austria.
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The Austrian capital argues it is the best possible location for the EBA due to a high quality of life, good business infrastructure, a well-developed education system and synergies with other international institutions, including the World Bank.


Piotr Malecki | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Warsaw might be a surprising application given the government's slight Euroskeptic stance. The European Union has stepped up its procedures against Poland last week for implementing laws deemed as risky to democracy.

The Polish application might therefore be seen as an attempt by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party to become closer to the EU.

European Medicines Agency

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Away from banking, four cities that applied to the EBA have also applied to host the European Medicines Agency. These were Dublin, Brussels, Warsaw and Vienna.

Among the remaining 15 applicants are: Porto (Portugal), Lille (France) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

To see the full list please click here.