Why this story matters:
Slovakia has lost the battle for the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Hence, not much has changed -- Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania remain the only countries that do not host any European agency.
Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the Ministry of Health were convinced that Slovakia had a chance to win this agency, but it ws not even close. We did not make it to the second round, with 10 points behind the leader of the chart, Milan which scored 25.
Slovaks believed that if we got the EMA, it would mean that we are European and civilized enough to be at the core of the EU in the future. We would be delighted to welcome hundreds of experts in Bratislava and create the impression that we are doing serious business for the EU here.
Only, how could we expect to persuade hundreds of specialists and authorities to come to our beloved Slovakia, if we cannot even hold our own talented young, who leave in massive numbers every year to work and study in the West?
Details from the story:
- Bratislava ended up on the fourth place of the battle for the EMA.
- Bratislava competed for the EMA with 19 different cities of the EU. In the end, EMA is moving to Amsterdam.
- There are about 70 LGBT employees working for EMA. A few months ago, 250 (out of 900) EMA employees signed a letter, which expressed the fear that the rights of LGBT couples would not be respected, if the agency moves to Slovakia. More than 72% of EMA employees considered leaving the agency, if they are forced to move to Bratislava.
- Each year, 30 000 young people leave the country to study or work, aiming mostly at the western countries.