19 countries officially apply to host the EMA; 8 chase EBA

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"The two agencies will need to be relocated in the context of the UK's withdrawal from the EU".

On Monday, Luxembourg was one of the last countries to make its application official.

This will be a contribution in year one of the transition (2019) of €15m towards the cost of fit-out/rent of the selected premises and from year two to year 10 (2020-2028), an annual contribution of €7 million per annum towards rent and maintenance.

The EMA looks like its best chance with the bid emphasising Ireland's expertise in life science and a proximity to London which could help the agency hold on to key staff.

Amid the rivalry to host the EMA, the Netherlands, Ireland and Denmark have hosted events in Brussels to promote their bids The number of states vying for the EMA is reckoned to be 21.

He added, "We firmly believe that a move to Dublin will ensure that European citizens can continue to have access to safe, innovative medicines, and that the EMA retains its reputation for excellence in the global regulatory system".

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Ireland is already home to Eurofound, an European Union agency which monitors labour markets. This includes about 40,000 hotel stays for visitors each year.

Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance Michael D'Arcy said a relocation to Dublin would be the least disruptive move for the EBA and its staff.

What do the agencies do?

But Dublin will face stiff competition from 18 rivals for the EBA and seven other cities to host the EMA according to details of the competition released by the European Commission.

The European Commission will evaluate the bids in September, considering criteria such as accessibility for current employees, work opportunities for their spouses and schools for their children.

After the commission hands in its assessment, the selection process will be discussed by European Union leaders at their summit in October, and a final decision is expected in November.

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