10 Nov 2017

EU civil servants prefer to quit their jobs than move to Slovakia

Most likely, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will soon move to Bratislava. However, the LGBT employees of the agency are not too happy about going east.

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
EU civil servants prefer to quit their jobs than move to Slovakia - NewsMavens
A wedding of a lesbian couple. Image from Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

According to the Financial Times, Bratislava and the Italian city of Milan are the two most probable future seats of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The institution has to leave London following Brexit.

Since no European agency currently operates in Slovakia, rumor has it that Bratislava will be the winner of the competition. However, the LGBT employees of EMA are not too happy about going east. A few weeks ago, they expressed the fear that their families will not be protected by Slovak law.

Slovakia is one of the most pro-European countries in Eastern Europe and it seems like a perfect opportunity for the European Union to reassure the Slovaks in their attitude. “We count on you and we believe that your capital is developed enough to host our agency” – if Brussels issued a message like this one, it would probably make us feel even more European.

Details from the story:

  • Bratislava competes for the EMA with 19 different cities in the European Union. FT predicts that Bratislava and Milan are the most probable winners.
  • 900 qualified employees work in the EMA. More than 72 percent of them consider leaving the agency if they are forced to move to Bratislava.
  • 250 employees signed a letter which expressed the fear that the rights of LGBT couples would not be respected in Slovakia. There are about 70 LGBT employees working for EMA.
  • According to the Slovak constitution, a marriage is a bond between a man and a woman.
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