Schelling: Study by IHS on EMA relocation confirms effects of over EUR 1 billion

On Monday 31 July 2017, Austria will be submitting two very attractive offers to host both EU agencies currently based in London, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA). Last year, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and Finance Minister Hans Jörg Schelling had already jointly begun drumming up support for EU institutions in Austria and set the application process in motion, immediately following the Brexit vote. Thus, Austria is maintaining its tradition as a location for international institutions. With the Iran talks too, and the Syria conference hosted by Foreign Minister Kurz, Austria has become a focal point of global attention.

According to Finance Minister Schelling, both agencies would be of great interest to Austria as a centre of economic activity and research; this has been recently confirmed in a study by the Viennese Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) commissioned by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance. “The EMA would make an annual contribution to GDP of EUR 203 million, while the EBA would contribute EUR 39.7 million. According to the IHS, over the medium term, the operations of the EMA would contribute around EUR 1 billion to Austrian GDP over a period of five years, while those of the EBA would contribute around EUR 0.2 billion over the same period,” explains Schelling. Furthermore, locating the EMA in Austria would create over 2,000 new jobs in Austria, while the EBA would create over 400 new jobs.

However, the EMA (with around 900 employees) and the EBA (with around 200 employees) are not only of particular interest to Austria due to their status as employers. “As a location in the heart of Europe, Vienna is the hub of global cooperation for over 40 international organizations already. According to the IHS study, the EMA can be expected to generate an annual influx of visitors totalling around 36,000, while the EBA is likely to generate around 8,000 visitors. The visitors to both organizations will be staying in surrounding hotels and dining in restaurants. As a result, the local hospitality and catering industry will particularly benefit from the resettlement of both organizations. Austria boasts a whole number of locational advantages. The highest priority is to strengthen Austria as an economic centre on a long-term basis and thereby to generate additional value added. Thus, on Monday, we will be sending very attractive offers to London,” affirms Schelling confidently.

Due to the ongoing tender procedure, in which almost all EU Member States are participating, details concerning the Austrian offers will not be published until after expiry of the deadline (31 July 2017).