Croatia Withdraws Candidacy for New Seat of European Medicines Agency

Total Croatia News

The bid did not have much of a chance anyway.

Croatia’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has announced that a decision was made to withdraw the candidature of Zagreb for the new seat of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The decision came just a few hours before the vote, reports on November 20, 2017.

“The Republic of Croatia has decided to withdraw its candidacy for the seat of the European Medicines Agency. Such a decision was made after our assessment of the procedure preceding the decision on where to move the seat of the agency from the United Kingdom. We believe that the process does not ensure the evaluation of all criteria in the same way and that it was subject to the suggestions of the European Medicines Agency itself.

However, by taking part in the competition, the Republic of Croatia has gained valuable experience to bid for the future seats of other agencies and bodies of the European Union. We believe that the foundation of all future decisions should be the principle of equality among the member states, which includes, among other things, the equitable distribution of the headquarters of agencies and bodies of the European Union,” the Ministry said in a statement.

According to the EMA employee survey which has been leaked to the media, EMA employees did not want to move to Zagreb as its new headquarters. Zagreb received the support of only 20 percent of the employees. Less favoured than Zagreb were just Bratislava (14 percent), Warsaw (10 percent), Bucharest (8 percent) and Sofia (6 percent).

Of course, the opinion of the employees is not the only criterion in the decision-making process on where the European Medicines Agency will be headquartered after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, but it is important because an excessive number of resignations could lead to EMA paralysis.

Zagreb’s position was certainly not helped by the presentation of the Croatian bid headed by Minister of Health Milan Kujundžić and Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić. Their behaviour and rhetorical skills, which are in the Croatian society considered as unproblematic enough to be selected and elected to their posts, were not convincing to anyone in Europe, so it was no wonder that the presentation of the Croatian bid turned into a debacle.

Translated from


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