Published: Wed, August 02, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Sofia is Candidate to Host the European Medicines Agency

Sofia is Candidate to Host the European Medicines Agency

The Council of the EU has received bids from 23 cities to host the European Banking Authority and the European Medicines Agency, which will be relocated after Brexit. Competition is likely to be intense with the medicines agency employing 900 people and the banking agency having 159 staff.

With the deadline up to present bids, the European Commission will assess the applications based on a set of criteria during the next two months.

European states have until midnight on Monday to bid for two major United Kingdom -based EU agencies which will be relocated amid Britain's departure from the European Union.

Luxembourg's main competitors are Paris, where the European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma) is located, and Frankfurt, which is home to the European Central Bank and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (Eiopa).

The EMA employs almost 900 staff and acts as a one-stop-shop for approving and monitoring the safety of drugs across Europe.

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A certain geographical balance in the distribution with other agencies of the European Union will also have to be respected.

Nineteen cities applied to the host the European Medicines Agency (EMA): Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Bonn, Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, Lille, Milan, Porto, Sofia, Stockholm, Malta, Vienna, Warsaw, and Zagreb. The EU 27 will then hold a political discussion on the offers in October before a secret vote in November.

Four member States have made the choice to propose only one city for the two agencies: Belgium, Ireland, Austria, and Poland, who have proposed their respective capitals. This includes about 40,000 hotel stays for visitors each year. Newer, eastern members will argue that they should be prioritised as they have fewer European Union bodies than the older European Union states in the west.

Should there still be no clear victor, there will be a third and final knock-out round between the two final candidates.

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