Italian politicians demand EMA move from Amsterdam to Milan over erotic center plan
Italian Members of the European Parliament are pushing to get the European Medicines Agency’s headquarters relocated from Amsterdam to Milan. Like the EMA itself, the Italians raised concerns about the employees' and experts’ safety with Amsterdam’s plans to potentially erect an erotic center near the EMA’s office.
The EMA moved from London to Amsterdam in 2020 after Brexit. European Union member states selected the Dutch capital from a shortlist in 2017. Milan was also on that shortlist and fought the choice of Amsterdam multiple times.
“Amsterdam is preparing to move the Red Light District near the headquarters of the EMA. The more than 900 employees of the agency, the international delegates, and the experts would be forced to cross an insecure area characterized by the presence of drug dealers and alcoholics, in a context of degradation, to research the headquarters,” Italian MEP Fulvio Martusciello said in a letter to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.
Martusciello pointed out that the EU’s requirements for the EMA headquarters included safety, security, and accessibility. He asked Von der Leyen to reconsider the choice of the EMA headquarters so that the city that offers the best conditions is chosen. “Conditions that Milan has already demonstrated in the recent past to be able to fully guarantee.”
Amsterdam plans to erect an erotic center in order to relieve some pressure on the constantly crowded Red Light District. Two of the three possible locations are in Amsterdam-Zuid, the neighborhood the EMA shares.
The EMA also raised concerns about this, but Amsterdam stressed that the EMA and the new erotic center would “under no circumstances” become neighbors. There is “at least half a kilometer between the EMA and the locations in Zuid,” a spokesperson for the municipality said, adding that the police also see few security risks. Sex workers in the erotic center will also work indoors “without an audience on the street like in the Red Light District,” the spokesperson said.
Many sex workers in Amsterdam are also against moving from the Red Light District. However, the vehemence of the EMA’s objections still hurt them, Felicia Anna, chair of sex workers’ interest group Red Light United, previously told ANP. “It feels like everyone wants to get rid of us. While we have legal jobs and pay taxes. One wants you gone, and the other doesn’t want to let you in. We should be treated like other people.”