TALLINN - According to the Dutch media, Estonia was promised millions of euros if they cast the necessary vote at a competition for determining the new location of an European Union agency, the Estonian daily Eesti Paevaleht reports.
The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union among other things also means that EU agencies, which until now were located in the United Kingdom, must find new locations. Two of the most important ones that needed relocating were the European Banking Authority and the European Medicines Agency, the former will be located in Paris in the future, while the latter will be located in Amsterdam.
Even though Estonia did not run to be the location for either of those agencies, the country's vote nevertheless influenced which European city will get one or the other.
The Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad claims that in order to guarantee an agency for Amsterdam, the Netherlands promised the Baltic countries 8 million euros to train the local medical staff.
After the first voting round, Amsterdam, Milan and Copenhagen were left in the competition, while Amsterdam and Milan were left to compete after the second round. Estonia's Deputy Minister for EU Affairs Matti Maasikas on November 21 had to draw lots to determine the new locations of the two institutions. Amsterdam was chosen as the new location for the European Medicines Agency, while Paris won the right to accommodate the European Banking Authority.
When Eesti Paevaleht asked the Government Office if the Dutch offered Estonia money in any way, the answer was unambiguous: "Estonia's stance on the new location of the European Medicines Agency was formed in the Cabinet, taking into account the criteria agreed upon by the European Council on June 22," government press officer Urmas Seaver said. "Estonia has not entered into a contract mentioned by you for its vote."