Milan loses out to Amsterdam in battle for post-Brexit EU agency

Amsterdam defeated Milan to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Paris won the European Banking Authority (EBA)
ANSA


Pubblicato il 21/11/2017
Ultima modifica il 21/11/2017 alle ore 09:45

Italy’s hopes to host one of the two big European agencies that will be forced to relocate from London after the UK leaves the EU were crushed when Amsterdam and Paris won in a suspenseful drawing of lots that also left Dublin and Frankfurt empty-handed. Amsterdam overcame front-runner Milan to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA), a prestigious 890-staff watchdog with a budget of 300 million euros overseeing drug safety across the region.
 

The secret ballot was welcomed by major pharmaceutical groups but described by Italian EU Affairs minister Sandro Gozi as «losing a final on penalties». Concerns over staff relocation weighed on the choice of EMA’s future headquarters. Britain, which is due to leave the EU in March 2019, had hoped to retain the agency, the most appealing of the two.
 

The EMA had attracted 19 proposals, while eight were filed for the European Banking Agency (EBA), which was eventually secured by Paris in a separate tense drawing of lots. A total 23 cities had bid for the two agencies. Milan passed the first and second round with the highest number of votes against Amsterdam and Copenhagen, which was eventually eliminated. A tie with Amsterdam in the final vote with the abstention of Slovakia cost Italy the victory after lots were drawn.  

 

«Such an important decision was left to chance», Lombardy region governor Roberto Maroni said after the vote. “I’m sad because my impression is that the European Commission entrusted its fulfillment to chance,” he said. Maroni, a member of the Eurosceptic Northern League party, said the decision was a reminder of the crisis of Europe, which he sees as a key topic of debate in the coming months as the UK prepares to withdraw from the EU. 

 

The ballot involved the participation of the General Affairs ministers from the 27 EU countries. Paris won the right to host the European Banking Authority, defeating Dublin and Frankfurt. 

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