Amsterdam picked to host European Union medicines agency after Brexit

  • Amsterdam picked to host European Union medicines agency after Brexit

Amsterdam picked to host European Union medicines agency after Brexit

Milan and Amsterdam will run off later on Monday for the right to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA) when the EU drugs body must leave London after Brexit, diplomats said after a vote.

"We needed to draw lots in both cases", Estonian EU Affairs Minister Matti Maasikas, who chaired the meeting and in both cases made the decisive selection from a big transparent bowl.

Frankfurt, a leading EU financing center that is home to the European Central Bank, lost out in the race at an earlier stage.

The relocations made necessary by the referendum to take Britain out of the European Union are expected to cost the country over 1,000 jobs directly and more in secondary employment. Several had hoped to be tapped for a lucrative prize that would be a sign the bloc was truly committed to outreach.

Sources familiar with the meeting of national ministers from the 27 European Union states other than Britain said Milan was two votes short of outright victory in the second round, securing 12 votes to 9 for Amsterdam and 5 for Copenhagen, which was knocked out.

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.

"A solid bid that was defeated only by a draw".

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.

Some 890 top jobs will leave Britain after Brexit, which is due in March 2019, with the European Medicines Agency, giving Amsterdam's economy a potential economic boost.

"It was nerve-wracking, to be honest", Halbe Zijlstra, Netherlands' foreign.

Hosting the EMA and the smaller European Banking Authority (EBA), both now 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.

Zijlstra said that "in the end, it is a very strategic game of chess".