Last Update 15:24
Monday, 14 October 2019

Three EU states quit race to host medicine agency after Brexit

Reuters , Monday 20 Nov 2017
Donald Tusk
File Photo: European Council President Donald Tusk (Reuters)
Views: 2759
Views: 2759

Three European Union cities have pulled out of the race to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA) ahead of a secret ballot later on Monday to choose its new home as Britain prepares to leave the bloc.

Hosting the EMA and the smaller European Banking Authority (EBA), both currently based in London, will mean jobs, business euros and prestige, so competition has been tough, though there have also been signs of regional solidarity in the contest.

Malta withdrew from the race to host the EMA on Friday and Croatia and Ireland followed suit on Monday, leaving 16 EU cities competing to host the EMA. However, Dublin is still among eight cities competing to host the EBA.

The two winners - whichever country wins the EMA will not be allowed to seek the EBA - will be picked on Monday in a series of votes so complex that it is hard to predict the result. They are due to start around 1500 GMT.

Estonia's EU minister Matti Maasikas, who will chair the voting session, called the contest "a sad reminder of the concrete consequences of Brexit". Britain is due to leave the EU in March 2019.

Despite fierce competition, the 27 EU states - minus Britain - are keen to avoid any protracted and bruising dispute over the matter as they see preserving unity as essential in facing Brexit, the biggest setback in the post-World War Two history of European integration.

"Whatever the outcome, the real winner of today's vote is EU27. Organised and getting ready for Brexit," EU chairman Donald Tusk tweeted ahead of the vote.

Italian EU Minister Sandro Gozi said Milan - a clear favourite in online betting - was a good candidate for the EMA but added that it was "impossible to say" how the vote would go.

Italy is counting on support from its southern EU peers. In another sign of regional solidarity, Belgium's foreign minister said Amsterdam would make a good pick, even though Brussels is itself in the running for both agencies.

The Czech Republic's EU minister, Ales Chmelar, said Prague, a candidate to host the EBA, expected at least one of the two bodies to move to less-developed, ex-communist eastern Europe, where the Slovak capital Bratislava is also a strong contender for the EMA.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.