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Government should set its sights on EBA bid – Hayes

Brian Hayes MEP today said that the government should set its sights firmly on bringing the European Banking Authority (EBA) to Dublin in advance of the November decision in the European Council. Mr. Hayes is in Lisbon this week for a series of meetings, including with the Portuguese Finance Minister Mário Centeno, and will be lobbying for the EBA to go to Dublin.

“On November 20th, the European Council will meet to decide on the future location of the EBA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) after Brexit. The next three weeks will be a period of intense lobbying from Member States to get the required votes to host the agencies.

“Dublin is firmly in the running for the EBA bid; in Brussels there have recently been a lot of positive soundings for housing the EBA in Dublin. This now requires an intense diplomatic push from our Ministers and civil servants to convince the 26 other Member States that Dublin is the ideal location for the banking authority.

“Out of the eight cities competing to host the EBA, it appears that Dublin and Luxembourg are in pole position. Whereas previously it seemed that the EBA was destined for one of the larger Member States, prospects have now changed and the consensus is to house the EBA in a smaller Member State.

“Moving from London to Dublin would be a smooth transition for the EBA. From a cultural and linguistic standpoint, the similarities are self-evident. Our well-developed financial services industry is an important factor as well as our excellent transport links with other parts of Europe. Having the EBA in Dublin would boost our regulatory and supervisory framework and allow for more interaction between regulators and our financial institutions.

“The vote on November 20th will involve plenty of horse trading given the complex nature of the voting system. The government needs to put a strategic plan in place to ensure that Ireland is in a strong position when it comes to the final round of voting for the EBA.

“The European Council vote will consist of three rounds. In the first round, each of the 27 counties will have six votes – three for its first candidate of choice, two for the second and one for the third. In this manner, the top three candidates will be shortlisted. In the next phase, each country will have one vote, which will eliminate the third-placed candidate. The final vote will then select the winner.”

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