Bratislava Won’t Host EMA HQ; Finished Fourth in First Round of Vote

Health Minister Tomas Drucker (photo by TASR)

Brussels/Bratislava, November 20 (TASR) – Bratislava has failed in its bid to host the prestigious European Medicines Agency (EMA), as it didn’t receive enough votes to progress to the second round of a secret ballot carried out at a General Affairs Council session in Brussels on Monday, TASR learnt on the same day.

Slovak Health Minister Tomas Drucker (a Smer-SD nominee) was present at the vote.

Milan came first in the first round with 25 votes, followed by Amsterdam and Copenhagen, which gained 20 votes each from EU-member states. Bratislava ended up fourth with 15 votes. As many as 19 countries were vying to host the EMA originally, although Malta, Croatia and Ireland withdrew their bids. EU ministers eventually decided in the final round of the vote that the new home of the medicines agency, which will have to move out of London due to Brexit, will be Amsterdam. The Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry wasn’t hiding its disappointment at Slovakia not winning the EMA seat.

According to the ministry, Slovakia’s bid, which it submitted along with the Health Ministry, was excellent. “We’re convinced that citizens of the European Union from the newer member states expected an important signal that even the new member states would be given the opportunity to demonstrate their readiness to host such an important agency as the EMA,” stated ministry spokesman Peter Susko.

Among Slovakia’s strongest arguments in the battle to host the agency was the fact that the country hasn’t been home to any European agencies so far.