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Milan loses out to Amsterdam to host European Medicines Agency

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Milan loses out to Amsterdam to host European Medicines Agency
The EMA's current headquarters in London. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP
18:35 CET+01:00
Milan narrowly lost the bid to host the European Union's drug agency when it moves out of London after Brexit.

EU foreign ministers picked Amsterdam as the new home of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, with Milan the closest runner-up.

The decision was made by drawing lots, reports said, after the two finalists ended up tied with the same number of votes.

Italy's northern fashion capital beat a dozen other European cities to the final, winning the most votes in the first and second rounds.

A total of 19 countries bid to host the EMA, which is currently headquartered in London's Canary Wharf with a staff of around 900 people.

The agency, which monitors and approves drugs for use across EU member states, will need a new base after the United Kingdom leaves the EU in 2019.

According to a staff survey in September, Amsterdam was the most popular choice among the EMA's employees, while Milan ranked fourth.

Competition was fierce, with the new EMA headquarters likely to attract medical and pharmaceutical companies from across the globe in their wake.

Italy has already won one Brexit trophy, albeit a less lucrative one: in October, the European Union Youth Orchestra announced that it would move its headquarters from London to Rome following the British vote.

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