High-powered delegation pushes post-Brexit candidature.
Italy has sent a top-level team to Brussels to explain Milan’s “excellent” credentials to attract European agencies to the city as they prepare to leave London after Brexit.
Following the road show launched in London last March, the new bid is being carried to the heart of the European Union by health minister Beatrice Lorenzin, undersecretary for EU affairs Sandro Gozi, Lombardy regional governor Roberto Maroni and Milan mayor Beppe Sala.
The team will concentrate on showing off the city’s expertise in the hope of attracting in particular the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Among the arguments put forward by Milan are a package of incentives and help for about a thousand members of families of EMA employees. Maroni has also offered the “Pirellone” skyscraper for the agency’s location, currently housing the Lombardy regional administration, as a deal-breaker.
Maroni told media before departing for Brussels that Milan’s bid is “without doubt the strongest.” Sala however admitted that, although the bid is “extraordinary”, he fears the influence of underhand political moves to locate the agency elsewhere.
Other cities currently vying to attract the EMA are Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Bonn, Bratislava, Brussels itself, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, Lille, Porto, Sofia, Stockholm, Malta, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb.
The European Commission is expected to publish a preliminary evaluation of the bids on 30 September, and to make a final vote in November.