European Medicines Agency angered by Amsterdam’s erotic center plans

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Tuesday it is furious about the municipality of Amsterdam’s plans for a new erotic center. Two of the three locations under consideration by the city are located very close to the headquarters of the European Union’s pharmaceuticals regulator. The sex work complex will endanger the safety of employees and visitors, the EMA said.

“The agency is taking action at the highest appropriate political and diplomatic level, in coordination with the European Commission, to ensure a safe working environment for staff and experts,” said an EMA spokesperson. The organization moved from London to Amsterdam in 2020 after Brexit. European Union member states selected the Dutch capital from a shortlist in 2017. “Security was an important condition for the selection of a new EMA location. Nineteen Member States submitted a proposal and had to demonstrate how they meet the agency’s requirements,” the EMA emphasized. “Security for the EMA site was an important consideration in Amsterdam’s nomination.”

Amsterdam announced an update to its plans for an erotic center in mid-February, which is part of a broader plan to reduce what it calls “nuisance tourism” in the old city center, including closing an unknown number of brothels and windows in the Red Light District. About a hundred places will be available for sex work in the proposed erotic center, along with space for hospitality, nightlife, and cultural businesses. One potential locations is at De Groene Zoom, and another is on Europaboulevard, both near the RAI and the A10. The EMA office is located at Domenico Scarlattilaan on the Zuidas business district, near Amsterdam RAI station. The third location being considered is in Amsterdam-Noord.

The EMA said it heard about the plans through the media, and was not informed by the municipality. “The EMA had expected to be consulted during the investigation into the suitability of the location. The change for the Red Light District was prompted by concerns about nuisance, drug trafficking, drunkenness and misconduct. If the erotic center is located near the EMA building, this will probably have the same negative consequences for the surroundings.”

The European regulator said it has an agreement with the Dutch government which states that the Netherlands must ensure the safety and tranquility of the EMA site and prevent disruptions in the immediate vicinity. “The EMA’s work is essential for the protection of public health in the European Union. It should not be jeopardized because staff and experts fear visiting the EMA office.”

Reporting by ANP and NL Times

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