The Federal Government will apply with the Federal City of Bonn for the additional branch of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) in the European Union (EU).
The ECMWF is headquartered in the UK and needs an additional branch in the EU due to Brexit. Initially, the new branch is to perform the tasks carried out by the ECMWF in the context of the EU's "Copernicus" Earth Observation Programme , i.e. the Copernicus Climate Change Service and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.
On 25 May, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), on behalf of the Federal Government, expressed its interest in an establishment in Germany in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI). The closing date for the application is 30 September 2020.
Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer:
The ECMWF is a world leader in global numerical weather forecasting and climatology and is a central element of European weather forecasting and climate research infrastructure. We will offer the Centre and its staff in Bonn the best conditions for their activities within the framework of the EU programmes – in particular with regard to the flagship Copernicus programme for the monitoring of and adaptation to climate change, which is already extensively supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Our main aim is to support the work of the ECMWF from day one and prepare it in the best way possible for the future.
Minister-President Armin Laschet:
With its unique profile for international cooperation and as a location of expertise for sustainable development and science, the Federal City of Bonn offers the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts an excellent, tailor-made working environment. This applies also and especially to the interconnection with the Copernicus programme of the EU. Bonn’s application therefore represents a convincing offer to the European partners. North Rhine-Westphalia is looking forward to working closely with the Federal Government and the City of Bonn and will make every effort to support this application.
Bonn’s Mayor Ashok Sridharan expressly welcomed the application:
Bonn’s advantages as a location for organisations and companies with an international focus have often been demonstrated in the past. The ever-growing number of UN institutions alone is visible evidence of this. We can score points with our University of Excellence and other high-profile research institutions, with a strong focus on digital developments – and with a high quality of life. The possible establishment is in line with the aim of the Bundestag’s decision of 1991 to bring institutions of international importance to Bonn.To the site of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
Sridharan reaffirmed Bonn’s willingness to participate intensively in the preparation of a promising application.
The Federal Government plans to invest in a new building for the ECMWF in Bonn, which would initially accommodate up to 320 employees. For this purpose, the federal property in Bad Godesberg-Nord on Ludwig-Erhard-Allee near the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety has been designated. 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 Robert-Schuman-Platz light rail stop provides a very good public transport link.
The ECMWF Council is expected to take a decision on the future headquarters of the organisation in December 2020. If the decision were to be made in favour of Bonn, the first employees would move to an interim location in Bonn as early as the first half of 2021. The entire move should then be completed in the second half of 2023.