Amsterdam wins right to host EMA after ‘penalty shootout’ vote

20 Nov 2017

Image: Mapics/Shutterstock

After months of lobbying from dozens of nations to bring the EMA to their cities, the EU has chosen Amsterdam as its new location.

In what turned out to be a ‘penalty shootout’ of a voting process, the Dutch city of Amsterdam has won the right to be the new host city of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The decision was made by the European Council of 27 EU ministers, with Amsterdam and Milan battling it out for the final place. With equal votes among members, the decision was made by a drawing of lots.

This will be seen as a major win for Amsterdam as it competed with some of the continent’s biggest life sciences hubs, with a previous report issued by KPMG ranking Paris as the favourite to win the bid.

In that same report, Amsterdam was ranked fifth, winning favourable attention early on in the process with a tongue-in-cheek video referencing the similarities between the city and London.

The city of Amsterdam and the EMA will now begin the transition of the agency to its new home ahead of its scheduled completion prior to the UK formally leaving the EU in April 2019.

Earlier today, Dublin ruled itself out of the EMA bid in an effort to position itself better for the race to win another major industry body set to move because of Brexit: the European Banking Authority (EBA).

Ahead of the EMA vote, 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.

This made Ireland the third country to pull out of the EMA race, with Malta leaving last week and Croatia also announcing its withdrawal earlier today (20 November).

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic