EU Member States have until 31 July 2017 to submit bids to host the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”) and the European Banking Authority (“EBA”). The EMA is responsible for monitoring the safety of drugs across Europe, whilst the EBA coordinates EU banking rules across the bloc. The two regulatory agencies are currently based in Canary Wharf, London and together employ more than 1,000 staff. However once the UK leaves the EU, their location will have to move. The UK has yet to publicly accept that it will lose both agencies, with a spokesperson from the UK’s Brexit department stating last month that “[N]o decisions have been taken about the location of the EBA or the EMA – these will be subject to the exit negotiations”.
Despite these assertions, the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, have circulated a paper to Member States setting out their proposed ground rules for voting on the new location of the agencies. Member States must submit bids by the end of July, following which a multi-stage vote will be held. The bids will be assessed by mid-September and the final decision will be announced by October. Competition for hosting the agencies is fierce, with nearly every Member State applying for the EBA or EMA, and in some cases, both agencies.