Bratislava and Milan lead race for EU medicines agency, the Financial Times writes

Ministers will vote on a new home for the EMA on November 20

Part of Westend area in PatrónkaPart of Westend area in Patrónka (Source: Sme)

Bratislava and Milan have emerged as frontrunners to host the EU’s medicines agency after Brexit, in a fiercely contested lobbying battle that will come to a head this month, the Financial Times newspaper has written.

Senior diplomats said the bids by Slovakia and Italy stood out in a crowded field battling for the European Medicines Agency, with 19 countries competing against them. Amsterdam and Copenhagen are also seen as tough contenders.

The London-based EMA is perceived as the jewel in the crown among more than 40 specialised EU agencies. It has 900 full-time staff and receives visits from some 35,000 national regulators and scientists each year because of its vital role in approving new medicines for sale on the EU market.

Read also:Drucker: Bratislava’s aces in the EMA bid include security, life costs and culture Read more 

Ministers will vote on a new home for the EMA in a secret ballot on November 20.

The economic heft of the EMA, and the prestige of hosting it, have prompted what one diplomat described as a “massive” lobbying effort now reaching its climax, the Financial Times wrote.

Diplomats said Bratislava’s bid had gathered momentum despite a lukewarm reception from the agency itself, which has warned that more than 70 percent of staff might leave if it is moved to the Slovak capital.

The Slovak bid is seen by officials as the strongest from central and eastern Europe, a region which is under-represented among EU agencies. Slovakia, a member of the eurozone, is also viewed in Brussels as a bastion of at least some pro-EU feeling in a region increasingly hostile to European integration. Bratislava is within commuting range of Vienna, which is itself mounting a bid for the agency.

EU officials warn of uproar if at least one agency is not granted to one of the 10 central and eastern European countries that have joined the EU since 2004, the Financial Times wrote.

Slovakia is the only country from central Europe not to host a European institution. For the EMA it is offering offices in Westend Plazza, a construction project led by the developer J&T Real Estate located in Patrónka. They will be completed in 2018.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: Bratislava

Read more articles by the topic

Top stories

News digest: Nationwide testing gained contours

The Defence Ministry reveals details on upcoming testing, removal of the STU rector was far from normal. Take a look at our latest news digest.

President Zuzana Čaputová meeting with scientists and experts on epidemiology, infectology and medicine.

Senate voted STU rector down. Police called to the uni as well

The session of the Academic Senate proposed that Rector Fikar be dismissed.

Miroslav Fikar

Dozens of people die of COVID every day. A drop not expected for at least two weeks

People who would otherwise survive may die of other serious diagnoses due to the epidemic.

Illustrative stock photo

Slovakia orders a curfew and embarks on its COVID experiment

High turnout in testing in four northern districts, decision awaited on extending the project to the nation. Prison for a prominent prosecutor and parliament's speaker injured.

Waiting for the results of COVID tests during the pilot phase of the nationwide testing in the town of Nižná in Orava, northern Slovakia.