Monday 26 August 2019

EU agency's location could be decided by drawing lots

Stock picture
Stock picture

Lily Cusack

The battle for the right to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA) after Brexit could end in the drawing of lots.

Nineteen EU governments will slug it out in 10 days' time for the right to host the EMA, EU officials said.

Dublin is among the locations in contention for the prized agency, but after months of lobbying and jockeying, those organising the process still have no idea who will win out.

"It'll be a bloodbath," said one senior diplomat who has taken part in previous fights to host EU agencies. "Everyone will be fighting their corner. It will have nothing to do with the merits of these cities."

Calls for the choice to be made on impartial and objective grounds have largely gone unheeded. With each minister voting in secret, all are expected to back their own bids. In the first round, each country can award three points to their first choice, two to a second and one to a third. The top three will go into a second round and, if needed, a run-off.

If it still all ends in a tie, the Estonian minister chairing the meeting will draw lots.

Irish Independent

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