Drucker: Lack of Protection of LGBTI People No Obstacle to Hosting EMA

Health Minister Tomas Drucker (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 14 (TASR) – A lack of legislation that guarantees the rights of same-sex couples in Slovakia shouldn’t cause a problem for the country in its bid to host the headquarters of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is due to be moved out of London after Brexit, Health Minister Tomas Drucker (a Smer-SD nominee) told TASR on Thursday.

The Politico.eu website recently reported that some 250 of the 900 EMA staff in a letter addressed to EMA head Guido Rasi expressed their concerns about LGBTI policies currently in place in some EU-member states. The website stated that Slovakia is among them.

Drucker in this regard stated that EMA employees won’t decide about the relocation of the agency, as this decision belongs to the EU-member states. He added that Slovakia is offering EMA incentives worth €50 million, including benefits for its employees.

State Secretary at Slovakia’s Foreign and European Affairs Ministry Ivan Korcok said that Slovakia is currently focusing on drawing up a competitive bid to host the EMA headquarters.

“As far as discrimination in connection with the agency is concerned, I see the biggest [example] in the fact that Slovakia is one of the five countries that has no European agency at all,” said Korcok.

A decentralised EU body, the EMA is tasked with approving new drugs and carrying out continuous supervision of drug safety. It also plays an important role in supporting innovations and research in the pharmaceuticals industry. It currently employs 900 highly qualified experts from across Europe. Slovakia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia and Romania don’t host any European agencies at the moment.

Earlier in the day the Health Ministry announced that Hungary will support the Slovak bid to host the EMA headquarters.