In spite of the extent of the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s final status, it is
quite likely that the European institutions headquartered in London will move.
These include major institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development (EBRD) with 1,400 staff and the European Medicines Agency
(EMA) with 890 employees.
The EBRD could possibly relocate to join one of its
stakeholders in Luxembourg – the European Investment Bank (EIB). Both banks
have similar tasks and employees with similar training profiles. However, owing
to the regular balancing of political and economic interests between the EU
member states, the EBRD and the EMA may have to move their headquarters
to southern or eastern Europe.
Given current political divergences, the chances
that Warsaw and Budapest could be selected as locations are slight, however.
Another European institution on the look-out for new headquarters is the
European Banking Authority (EBA) with 150 employees. Together with the ECB,
and consequently also the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) and the
European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), Frankfurt is
already home to some of Europe’s key financial regulatory entities.
Combining Europe’s supervisory structure in Frankfurt would make sense both from an
economic and a political viewpoint. However, the bulk of potential job
relocations is not likely to take place in the public but rather in the private sector,
chiefly in the financial industry. In this context, Frankfurt is not only competing
with European, but also non-European cities.