In Amsterdam, EU drugs regulator doesn’t want brothel moving in next door
Sex and drugs don’t mix, argues the EMA.
"You don’t have to put on the red light."
Those aren’t just the lyrics to a hit song by The Police. It’s also the message that the European Medicines Agency is sending to Amsterdam authorities, who are considering relocating the city’s red light district to the same neighborhood as the drugs regulator.
The municipality wants to clean up its city center, shutting down its famous collection of window fronts from which sex workers solicit clients. It plans to move them to a location closer to the city’s periphery, in a complex euphemistically dubbed an "erotic center."
The problem, as confirmed by one EMA spokesperson to POLITICO, is that two of the three locations under consideration are near the RAI Amsterdam convention center, close to where the regulator is headquartered. And while the EU body might be in charge of regulating Viagra, it doesn’t necessarily want to be thrust into the middle of the action.
The EMA is "very concerned that this will create safety, security and nuisance issues" for its staff as well as visitors, said a spokesperson in a written response to a request for comment. The spokesperson cited concerns over drug dealing, drunkenness and disorderly behavior.
The regulator left London for Amsterdam after the vote for Brexit. Now, it argues, Dutch authorities aren’t holding up their end of the bargain.
"Safety and security were also key requirements for the selection criteria of the new location for EMA at the time of the Agency’s relocation process," said the spokesperson.
The city is holding a public consultation over the move, with a decision expected in the fall.