Brexit: European Commission Welcomes Decision To Relocate UK-Based Agencies


The European Commission said it welcomes Monday’s agreement at the General Affairs Council (Article 50 format) to move the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) to Amsterdam and Paris, respectively. Both Agencies are currently located in London.

The decision to relocate the EMA and the EBA was for the governments of the 27 Member States to take. It does not form part of the Brexit negotiations, but was a matter to be discussed exclusively between the 27 EU Member States.

The relocation of these two Agencies is a direct consequence – and the first visible result – of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, as notified to the European Council on 29 March 2017. The EMA and the EBA are two key regulatory Agencies for the EU’s Single Market, and are essential for the authorisation of medicines and for bank regulation. They must continue to function smoothly and without disruption beyond March 2019.

Monday’s voting procedure was based on the criteria set out by President Jean-Claude Juncker and President Donald Tusk and endorsed by the Heads of State or Government of the EU27 at the European Council (Article 50 format) on 22 June 2017. On 30 September, the European Commission provided an objective assessment of the offers received by the Member States.

Next steps: the Commission will now prepare the necessary legal work by making legislative proposals to amend the founding Regulations for the two Agencies. These proposals will be strictly limited to the issue of relocation. The Commission and Council have agreed to give priority to the handling of these legislative proposals. This is to ensure that the Agencies remain operational throughout this process.

The Commission said it will be following the relocation process closely and will assist the Agencies, where relevant and within the scope of its competences, on matters related to the EU budget, rules on public procurement and staffing issues, amongst others.

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