Government Commissioner for the Candidature for the Relocation of the EBA to the Czech Republic

Ladies and gentlemen, dear employees of the European Banking Authority,

I am grateful for this opportunity to address you directly. Assuming the mantle of the Government Commissioner for the Candidature for the Relocation of the EBA to the Czech Republic at the beginning of June was not an easy decision. Based on previous experience on relocating the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) during 2006 to 2012 I knew exactly what kind of challenges would lie ahead, at the same time I knew very well what opportunities such a process entails for all the parties involved and I am fully committed to ensuring that Prague is the ideal location for the EBA and its employees.

The Czech Republic has not submitted a candidature for the European Medicines Agency, as such we are fully focused on the unique requirements of the EBA and making its relocation a success. The successful tenure of the GSA since 2012 serves as testament to the fact that the Czech Republic and Prague fulfil the relocation criteria as set out by the European Commission in June, be they schools for the children of employees, work opportunities for family members, flight accessibility of the Czech Republic or the quality of life in Prague and its transport infrastructure.

Looking back at the past couple of months, I can honestly say that we have achieved all we have set out to do. Although the time limit as set out in the procedure was very strict, we have managed to secure all criteria as well as highly competitive premises for the EBA in record time. I fully believe relocating to Prague will ensure that the business continuity of the EBA will not be hindered. The location we have prepared will be ready at the beginning of 2019 with ample opportunity of the EBA to influence the final design of the premises to suit its particular needs.

What remains now is for the European Commission to provide its assessment and then for Member States to decide on the final relocation. The Czech candidature speaks for itself, but we will continue to lend our voice to it all throughout the process, making sure the benefits of relocating to Prague are clear to other Member States as we look for support before the decision is taken at the end of the year.

Having extensively worked and communicated with GSA employees, I know that Prague is truly a great place for life and work. On the other hand, I am also well aware of some pitfalls, such as the correction coefficients applied to employees’ salaries which is regrettably lower in Prague than in London. This too however is an area I am deeply engaged in. The Czech Republic is taking steps to ensure this situation is resolved and employees in new Member States are not discriminated against based on rules that do not reflect the current state of the world.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe you will find that Prague is the ideal city for the EBA. In case of any questions, do not hesitate to contact me. I remain, as always, open to you.

Kind regards

Karel Dobeš

Government Commissioner for the Candidature for the Relocation of the EBA to the Czech Republic