Brussels touts its assets in bid to host EU banking agency

As the negotiations on Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) continue, Brussels aims to take over as host of the European Banking Authority, currently located in London. This had already been disclosed officially by the EU Council and, on Monday, Belgium’s Foreign Ministry launched a charm operation to back up the candidature of its capital.

Belgium has one of the most accessible capitals on the continent, given its “strategic location at the centre of Europe”, said the Foreign Ministry, adding that the country offers “high quality work spaces and ideally connected buildings”. Other advantages highlighted by the Ministry include the presence of many international schools, an accessible and diversified real estate market and a rich cultural life, all of which already satisfy a very large expatriate community.

“Moreover, the country regularly achieves excellent performances in digital connectivity, innovation, health, education and technological maturity,” it said.

To support its candidature, Belgium also points to its hosting of the headquarters of the European Union Banking Federation and many other international financial institutions, which has enabled “the Belgian financial sector to acquire a long experience in the good management of financial markets”. The capital of Europe, which already hosts the main EU institutions, says it can offer a fast, harmonious and economical transition of the activities of the Banking Authority.

Eight cities are bidding to host the agency: Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Luxemburg, Paris, Prague, Vienna and Warsaw. The candidatures will be assessed by September 30 by the European Commission based on a series of well-defined criteria. After that, member states will select the best candidate using a multi-round voting system.

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