Prague may host EU's European Banking Authority

The EBA is one of the EU facilities that will have to relocate due to Brexit

With the United Kingdom in talks to exit the European Union, several EU facilities in the UK will have to relocate. Prague is among the cities hoping to become the new home of the European Banking Authority (EBA). It is not in the running for the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is also leaving the UK.

The time to apply to host the EBA has closed, and the Council of the European Union announced the names of the candidates. The proposals are now being evaluated.

“The Council has received 27 proposals by the member states, related to 23 cities, to host the EU agencies currently based in the UK. There have been 19 offers to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and 8 for the European Banking Authority (EBA),” the Council stated.

“The two agencies will need to be relocated in the context of the UK's withdrawal from the EU. The future locations need to be decided by common agreement of the EU27 member states. On 22 June 2017 … the EU27 leaders endorsed a specific procedure for this decision. The first step was the submission of offers by the member states by 31 July 2017,” the Council explained.

Along with Prague the seven other cities hoping to become the new home of the EBA are Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Paris, Luxembourg-City, Vienna and Warsaw.

The EBA was established Jan. 1, 2011, and it inherited the responsibilities of the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS). It works to ensure “effective and consistent prudential regulation and supervision” across the European banking sector. The EBA assesses risks and vulnerabilities in the EU banking sector through regular risk assessment reports and EU-wide stress tests.

The list for the EMA is longer, with Warsaw, Zagreb, Bucharest, Bratislava and Sofia competing against most major Western European capitals.

The EMA is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU. The EMA is essential to the functioning of the single market for medicines in the EU, the European Commission stated.

The applications will be assessed on six criteria: guarantees that the agency will be operational when the UK leaves the EU, accessibility of the location, schools for the children of the staff, access to the labor market and health care for the employees' families, business continuity and geographical spread.

The offers will be assessed Sept. 30, 2017. Ministers will discuss the results in October 2017.

The decision will be made in November 2017 by a vote of the 27 ministers. All offers will be submitted to a vote unless they are withdrawn by the countries concerned. There will be successive voting rounds by secret ballot as needed, with each of the 27 member states having the same number of votes, according to a European Council statement.

Prague is already home to the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA), the EU alternative to the GPS system. The EU agency ensures that public interests are represented in connection with the EU satellite navigation programs called Galileo and European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).

The town of Dolní Břežany, near Prague, is also home to one of the sites for the EU's scientific project Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), which does research into extremely powerful lasers and secondary radiation derived from them.

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