Bratislava surprise favourite to be new European Medicines Agency home

Amsterdam won a fierce fight to host the European Medicines Agency after it leaves London beating Milan in a tiebreakMore

Amsterdam won a fierce fight to host the European Medicines Agency after it leaves London beating Milan in a tiebreakMore

Other first round vote getters included Bratislava (15), Barcelona (13), Stockholm (12), Athens (10), Porto (10), Bucharest (7), Warsaw (7), Brussels (5), Helsinki (5), Vienna (4), Bonn (3), Lille (3), Sofia (3).

The EMA, which makes decisions about the safety of new medicines before they reach Europe's Single Market, is now based in Canary Wharf in east London.

The outcome was welcomed by European pharmaceuticals bodies.

EMA has warned that the most of its staff might deny shifting to other cities. One country abstained in the vote.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed the decision, with The Irish Times revealing that the Government has now chose to focus its efforts on winning another major industry body: the European Banking Authority (EBA). Estonia, which holds the European Union presidency, had to draw from a box to decide which one will become the home of the EMA, which is responsible for the evaluation, supervision and monitoring of medicines.

With ministers gathering to vote on where the EMA should move to, it is understood that Ireland offered an exchange deal whereby its first-preference votes would be swapped for another member state's in the vote for the EBA bid.

A nail-biting coin toss is how Amsterdam is now officially the next home of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The EMA must leave its current home in London because of Brexit, and ministers from the EU27 nations will carry out a secret ballot this afternoon to decide on which city should be awarded the prestigious agency.

Despite fierce competition, the 27 EU states were 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.

Copenhagen finished third, ahead of Bratislava in the vote involving European Union nations excluding Britain.

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