In the heated competition among European Union capitals vying to host the new AML Authority (AMLA), Germany has surged ahead as a frontrunner, with sources indicating growing confidence in Frankfurt as the preferred location. Meanwhile, Dublin has made an intriguing move by placing a display advertisement at Brussels airport in an effort to sway the votes of MEPs.
However, insiders suggest that behind-the-scenes negotiations may be shaping the outcome, as the Spanish and German governments appear to be working on a deal to entice AMLA to Frankfurt. This move is seen as part of a broader political maneuver that could result in Spain's Deputy Prime Minister, Nadia Calviño, being appointed as the new head of the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Calviño's aspirations to lead the EU's bank received a significant boost when the European Parliament removed a key obstacle to her appointment. She is in competition with Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager for the position of EIB president.
Speculation is rife about a potential agreement between the Spanish and German governments. "It looks like Germany is going to vote for Calviño, and in return, Spain is likely to put its support behind Frankfurt for AMLA," revealed a senior source in Brussels.
Germany's determination to secure AMLA is apparent, and it is making a robust effort to clinch the authority. "Germany really wants AMLA. It is going all out to win the authority. And generally, when Germany wants something this badly, it usually gets it," added another informed source.
Nevertheless, the race for AMLA's host city is far from over, and other contenders remain in the running. Dublin, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Luxembourg, Vienna, and Vilnius are among the cities competing for the prestigious designation.
"The process for deciding where AMLA goes has still not been finalized. There are still negotiations going on between the Council and Parliament on the deciding factors in the decision. However, if it comes down to a simple vote of MEPs, it could be a lottery, and any one of the bidding cities could come out on top," noted an official.
The chosen host city is expected to benefit significantly from AMLA's presence, as the agency plans to hire up to 750 staff and operate with a budget exceeding €500 million. Moreover, hosting AMLA is anticipated to have a multiplier effect, attracting numerous compliance-related companies and services, thereby creating additional jobs and boosting the local economy.
By fLEXI tEAM