The European Commission’s assessment will consider criteria such as accessibility for current employees, work opportunities for their spouses and schools for their children.
It will also look at whether a country already hosts other EU agencies to ensure they are not monopolised.
European officials insisted that they were not trying to suck all business away from Britain, which will inevitably retain close trading links with the huge EU market on its border.
“Luxembourg has not positioned itself as vultures circling round the Tower of London waiting for all those jobs to fly out our way,” Luxembourg’s ambassador George Friden told reporters in Brussels.
“The Luxembourg financial centre has had what we view as a long and fruitful relationship with the City of London and we very much wish for that to continue.”
– ‘Stylish queen’ –
The cities’ individual bids were all posted on the EU’s website, with many trying to outdo each other as they sought to position themselves as the natural choice.
“We also have a very stylish queen, and enjoy fish and chips,” said a video for Amsterdam’s bid, stressing the continuity with two famed parts of British life.
Malta and Warsaw meanwhile quoted testimony from happy expatriates, while the Danish and Irish prime ministers acted as salesmen for their respective cities.
The choice of new host cities will be made via a complicated points system that officials have compared to the Eurovision song contest.
After the commission assessment is published on September 30, European affairs ministers will then vote on the final choice at a meeting on November 20.
Each country will have six voting points — three for its first preference, two points for the second and one for the third.
If any one gets the full three points from 14 or more members then it automatically wins — otherwise there is a second round for the top three candidate cities, and if necessary a third and final knock-out between the last two cities.