EU leaders agree plan for moving agencies post-Brexit | Reuters

BRUSSELS European Union leaders plan to decide in October where to house two London-based agencies for banking and medicine that must be relocated as a result of Britain's decision to leave the bloc.More than 20 of the remaining 27 EU states have expressed interest in hosting the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which together employ more than 1,000 people.But until Thursday, they had been unable to agree how to choose new sites for the coveted bodies, with Italy, Spain and the Netherlands holding out.

Under the agreed procedure, countries will have until the end of July to submit their candidate cities, which will then be assessed by the bloc's executive European Commission by September. EU leaders will next discuss the matter when they meet for a summit in Brussels in October. Their envoys will hold a formal vote the following month, first on the medical, then on the banking authority. The discussion between the leaders is expected to be decisive.

Earlier on Thursday, France and Germany dismissed a report by German magazine WirtschaftsWoche that the two countries had agreed to divide the agencies between themselves, with the EBA going to Frankfurt and EMA to Lille.

Barcelona, Milan, Copenhagen and Dublin are among the states campaigning for EMA, which has an annual budget of $360 million.Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Lyon and Strasbourg are among the cities vying to host the EBA, whose 160 employees write and coordinate banking rules across the bloc.Among the criteria for selecting the winners are infrastructure, accessibility, opportunities for the relatives of agency employees and geographical spread. Newer eastern members of the EU say they do not have enough EU bodies and want this changed. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan in Frankfurt, Andreas Rinke in Berlin, Michel Rose in Paris, Gabriela Baczynska and Tom Koerkemeier in Brussels, Editing by Noah Barkin)

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Updated Date: Jun 23, 2017 03:45 AM

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