Brussels, Nov 20 (CTK) – The fact that the Czech Republic and Slovakia on Monday nearly advanced to the second round of the vote of the new seat of two European agencies moving away from London is a good result despite the failure of both bids, Czech state secretary for EU affairs Ales Chmelar told journalists.
“Out of the new member countries it was the Czech Republic and Slovakia that were close to advancing to the second round. This alone can be considered a good result,” Chmelar said.
Prague had the ambition to host the seat of the European Banking Authority (EBA) after Brexit, while Slovakia wanted the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to move to its capital.
However, lots had to be drawn in Brussels on Monday to decide between Paris and Dublin as the EBA seat and Amsterdam and Milan as the EMA seat, and the French and Dutch capitals are the lucky winners.
Czech and Slovak diplomats hoped that at least one of the two agencies would move to Central or East Europe so that it would be geographically balanced.
Chmelar said he feels sorry that none of the countries from this region succeeded.
“We would be happy with practically any solution that would be balanced,” he said.
EU member states should consider it what geographical balance within the EU actually means, Chmelar said.
He said Prague won all the points it expected to receive in the first round. “Unfortunately, it was not enough. It was very narrow. If one country voted in a different way, we might have got to the second round,” Chmelar said.
As Britain is to leave the EU in March 2019, EU agencies will move away from the country.