• 10:25
  • 31.05.2020
Amsterdam, Paris win post-Brexit agencies

Amsterdam, Paris win post-Brexit agencies

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Amsterdam and Paris won have the right to host the two EU agencies that must leave London on Brexit after a dramatic ministerial meeting in Brussels where the result was decided by drawing lots after votes were tied.
The European Medicines Authority (EMA), a key player in the continent's healthcare industry, will go to Amsterdam, which pipped the favourite Milan, and the European Banking Authority (EBA) will go to Paris, winner in the lucky dip 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.
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The outcome was welcomed by European pharmaceuticals bodies. The EMA had warned that many of its staff might quit, possibly disrupting healthcare in Europe, if governments had chosen a less attractive host city, notably in the ex-communist east.
Eastern governments were left empty-handed.
Frankfurt, home to the European Central Bank and aiming to be the Union's primary financial centre after Brexit, suffered a blow when it was badly beaten in the second round of EBA voting.
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In a third round, Paris overhauled Dublin, which had been just one vote short of a second-round majority. With the scores in the runoff tied again by abstention, Paris won when the Estonian minister chairing the meeting again had to draw lots.
Eastern governments had emphasised that there are relatively few EU agencies located in the countries which joined the bloc only after the Cold War. But their hopes were dashed.
In the EMA voting, Slovakia, whose capital Bratislava was pipped into fourth place in the first round, abstained in protest at the failure of any eastern city to progress.
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