Amsterdam and Paris won the opportunity to host the two prominent EU agencies that must leave London due to Brexit. The decision was taken at ministerial meeting in Brussels that left a lot of frustrations in South and East Europe, regretting that old member-states were not sharing, neither generous to them.
The European Medicines Authority (EMA), a key player in the continent’s healthcare industry, will go to Amsterdam prefered in a tough rivalry with Milan, and the European Banking Authority (EBA) will go to Paris, winner over Dublin.
“It’s like losing a final on penalties,” Italy’s EU affairs minister Sandro Gozi told reporters, adding that it had left a “bitter taste in the mouth” for an EMA bid that was not behind at any stage. He rejected, however, talk of “betrayal” among any allies who had promised Milan support before the secret ballot.
The outcome was welcomed by European pharmaceuticals bodies. The EMA had warned that many of its staff might leave, possibly disrupting healthcare in Europe, if governments had chosen a less attractive host city, notably in the ex-communist East.
The European Commission welcomed today’s agreement at the General Affairs Council (Article 50 format) to move the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) to Amsterdam and Paris, respectively. Both Agencies are currently located in London.
The relocation of these two Agencies is a direct consequence – and the first visible result – of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, as notified to the European Council on 29 March 2017. The EMA and the EBA are two key regulatory Agencies for the EU’s Single Market, and are essential for the authorisation of medicines and for bank regulation. They must continue to function smoothly and without disruption beyond March 2019, the statement said.
“Today’s voting procedure was based on the criteria set out by President Jean-Claude Juncker and President Donald Tusk and endorsed by the Heads of State or Government of the EU27 at the European Council (Article 50 format) on 22 June 2017. On 30 September, the European Commission provided an objective assessment of the offers received by the Member States” – the European Commission concludes.