Where will the EMA set up shop?

As a result of Brexit the European Medicines Agency must move its headquarters from London to the Continent. Several countries including Denmark and Sweden have applied to host the Agency's new base. Commentators are following the bidding process with interest.

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Sydsvenskan (SE) /

Sweden and Denmark stronger together

Sweden's chances would improve if it applied together with Denmark, Sydsvenskan believes:

“Sweden's government should stop focusing on its own capital and offer an alternative together with Denmark. That would definitely arouse the EU's curiosity and provide enough strong arguments to bolster the bid. In addition to a well-established pharmaceutical industry there are 17 universities and the biggest airport in the Öresund region. ... The deadline for applications runs out at the end of the month. However it's extremely unlikely that the government will revise its offer.”

Der Nordschleswiger (DK) /

A real contest or a backroom deal?

The competition to host the EMA headquarters reminds the Nordschleswiger of a well-known music contest:

“How will the decision on the new location be reached in the EU 'consensus machine'? The procedure is somewhat reminiscent of that used with the popular ESC: in the first round each of the 27 member states has six points. ... If none of the countries is awarded three points by at least 14 countries, there's a second round with the three top placed countries. Then each country only has one vote. ... In Brussels people are wondering how open the decision-making process will be. Or whether in the end it won't boil down - as so often happens with the difficult allocation of EU agencies - to a 'backroom deal' among heads of government that is determined more by political arguments than by objective factors.”