Application by the Federal Government European weather authority may come to Bonn

Bonn · The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting may come to Bonn. The Federal Government, together with the Federal City, is officially applying to the European Union for a planned location.

 The city of Bonn with a view of the Siebengebirge.

The city of Bonn with a view of the Siebengebirge.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

The Federal Government is officially applying with the Federal City for a planned settlement with the European Union, as the Bonn press office announced on Monday. Besides Germany, Austria and France have also applied. The ECMWF Council will decide on the future branch in December.

At present, the authority has its headquarters in Great Britain. Because of Brexit, it needs an additional branch within the territory of the EU. "Bonn's advantages as a location for internationally oriented organisations and companies have been demonstrated many times in the past," Bonn's Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan (CDU) emphasised on Monday. The continuously growing number of United Nations institutions is a visible proof of this. "The possible settlement is in line with the goal of the 1991 Bundestag resolution to bring institutions of international importance to Bonn," continued Sridharan. For this reason, he said he wanted to work intensively with the city of Bonn "on the preparation of a promising application“.

There are already concrete plans for the settlement. A new building is planned for the branch office, which is to be built on a federally owned plot of land in Bad Godesberg-Nord on Ludwig-Erhard-Alle near the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. According to a statement by the city of Bonn, the new building will initially accommodate 320 employees. "The dimensions of the new building will be based on the new high-rise building of the UN Climate Secretariat on the UN Campus with an additional conference centre," the city announced. The Robert-Schuman-Platz tram stop provides good connections to public transport.

The new location will initially be used to carry out tasks that the ECMWF is carrying out within the EU's Copernicus Earth observation programme. These are the Copernicus Climate Change Service and Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. They provide daily information on the global composition of the atmosphere. This includes greenhouse gases, reactive gases, ozone and aerosols. Policy makers use the data to ensure compliance with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister President Armin Laschet (CDU) welcomed the application for the Bonn site. It was a convincing offer to the European partners. "North Rhine-Westphalia is looking forward to doing its utmost to support this application in close cooperation with the Federal Government and the City of Bonn. Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) is also full of praise. The CSU politician sees it as a central concern to strengthen the working capacity of the ECMWM from day one and to position it optimally for the future.

The decision on the future seat of the organisation is expected to be taken by the Council of the Authority in December 2020. Should the choice be made, the first employees would move to an interim location in Bonn in the first half of 2021. The entire move should then be completed in the second half of 2023.

(Original text: Thomas Leurs; Translation: Mareike Graepel)
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