Efforts turn from luring European Medicines Agency to Banking Authority

Lobbying to attract European HQs to Ireland after Brexit focusing now on banking agency

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is understood to have been lobbying hard to attract key agencies to Dublin post-Brexit at last week’s European summit. Photograph: Kamil Zihnioglu

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is understood to have been lobbying hard to attract key agencies to Dublin post-Brexit at last week’s European summit. Photograph: Kamil Zihnioglu

 

The Government believes there is little chance of securing the headquarters of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and has now switched lobbying efforts to attract the transfer of the European Banking Authority (EBA), a decision due in the coming weeks.

EU members are vying with each other to secure the headquarters of the two agencies when they leave London after Brexit.

The Government had previously been lobbying hard for the EMA but sources confirmed it is no longer considered a realistic prospect.

Ministers still hope they can secure the transfer of the headquarters of the European Banking Authority and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was lobbying hard at last week’s European summit, according to Brussels insiders.

Decision due

In recent days, two Ministers have confirmed to The Irish Times that their focus was now on the acquisition of the EBA headquarters but political sources are not optimistic the campaign will be successful, citing a lack of allies in the process.A decision is due to be reached by the EU General Affairs Council in the coming weeks.

According to Ministers involved in the process, Ireland’s campaigns have been hamstrung by a lack of natural allies on the council, a fact worrying diplomats as they contemplate a post-Brexit EU.

Eight cities are vying to host the EBA. Dublin is competing with cities such as Paris and Frankfurt, which have substantial financial services industries.