Bratislava has won out
against three other competitors as the new seat of the ELA. Four cities, Sofia
(Bulgaria), Nicosia (Cyprus), Riga (Latvia) and the winner Bratislava,
offered to host the new European institution. In an elaborate application
process, the four candidates created their own homepages and videos.
Bratislava was the clear
favourite with 15 votes out of 28 at the Employment, Social Policy, Health and
Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) meeting on 13 June in Luxembourg.
Member States had
already agreed in March that the following criteria were crucial for the vote: geographical
balance, fast availability of office space, accessibility of the location,
educational facilities for staff members’ children, and access to the labour
market, social security and medical care for spouses and children.
ELA to be up and running by the end of 2019
As we already reported,
the aim of the ELA is to improve cross-border cooperation, contribute to fair
mobility throughout the EU and support the coordination of social security
systems. The European Parliament voted in favour of the ELA on 16 April 2019.
On 13 June 2019, the Council adopted the founding regulation, which will enter
into force 20 days after its publication in the EU Official Journal.
EU Commission expects the ELA to start operations at the end of 2019, albeit
initially in Brussels for a transitional period. It is expected that the ELA will
move to Bratislava in 2021.