On 22 June, in the margins of the European Council (Article 50), the EU 27 leaders endorsed the procedure for the relocation of the EU agencies currently located in the UK: the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA). 

Infographic - Brexit: relocating UK-based EU agencies

Infographic - Relocation of the two EU agencies currently based in the UK

How does the procedure of relocation work?

The procedure consists of:

  1. offers by member states to host one or both of the agencies  submitted by 31 July 2017   
  2. an assessment of the offers by the Commission based on the agreed criteria published on 30 September 2017 
  3. political discussion based on the Commission's assessment in the margins of the GAC (Art.50) meeting on 17 October 2017
  4. a decision by the 27 member states by vote in the margins of the GAC (Art. 50) meeting on 20 November 2017

1. Offers to host the agencies

There have been 8 offers to host the European Banking Authority (EBA) and 19 offers to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

2. Assessment criteria

On 22 June, 27 EU leaders agreed on 6 criteria:

  • the assurance that the agency is operational when the UK leaves the EU
  • accessibility of the location
  • schools for the children of the agency staff
  • access to the labour market and health care for employees' spouses and children 
  • business continuity
  • geographical spread

On 30 September, the European Commission published the assessment of the offers based on the 6 criteria agreed by EU27.

What EU agencies are currently based in the UK?

The European Union has two agencies established in the United Kingdom. Both are located in London. 

European Medicines Agency (EMA)

Founded in 1995, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU.

EMA is essential to the functioning of the single market for medicines in the EU. 

Concretely, the main tasks of the EMA include:

  • to facilitate development and access to medicines
  • to evaluate applications for marketing authorisation
  • to monitor the safety of medicines across their lifecycle
  • to provide information to healthcare professionals and patients

European Banking Authority (EBA)

The European Banking Authority (EBA) works to ensure effective and consistent prudential regulation and supervision across the European banking sector. Its overall objectives are:

  • to maintain financial stability in the EU
  • to safeguard the integrity, efficiency and orderly functioning of the banking sector

The main task of the EBA is to contribute to the creation of the European single rulebook in banking.

The Single rulebook aims to provide a single set of harmonised prudential rules for financial institutions throughout the EU. This is intended to create a level playing field and provide high protection to depositors, investors and consumers.

The EBA is also mandated to assess risks and vulnerabilities in the EU banking sector through regular risk assessment reports and pan-European stress tests.