Netherlands bids to hosts EU drugs agency, replacing Britain

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The Dutch government on Wednesday joined several other European Union states in bidding to become the host country of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) once Britain leaves the bloc.

The London-based EMA has a workforce of about 900. It reviews experimental drugs and makes recommendations on market approval which the EU Commission usually follows.

The tussle over its future location is expected to form part of a complex horse-trading process triggered by Brexit. Italy, Spain, France and Poland - among others - have also put themselves forward as potential hosts.

The Netherlands “can offer EMA staff excellent housing, healthcare, education and public transport, and an environment where English is widely spoken,” the government said in a statement, also pointing to its experience in hosting international organizations.

The Netherlands is already the site of the International Criminal Court for war crimes, European Union law enforcement agency Europol and the United Nations’ highest judicial instance, the International Court of Justice.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by John Stonestreet