Medicine agency EMA does not want sex workers as neighbors on the Zuidas 16:08 in Binnenland The European Medicines Agency fears inconvenience for its staff and international visitors.

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Tourists in the Red Light District
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The European Medicines Agency (EMA) opposes plans by the municipality of Amsterdam for the establishment of an erotic center. Two of the three possible locations that the municipality has in mind are close to the European headquarters of the regulator in the Zuidas.

It is the intention that some of the sex workers from the Red Light District will be moved to the new building in order to reduce the nuisance in the city centre. Mayor Halsema announced this last month in a letter to the city council. According to the police, there is less risk of nuisance and drug trafficking at the three locations mentioned – two on the Zuidas and one on the NDSM wharf in North Amsterdam – than elsewhere in the city.

From the media

EMA says in a statement that it has been informed of the plans through the media and is very concerned about the consequences if the erotic center is located near its building. “Safety was one of the most important criteria in Amsterdam’s nomination for the location of the European headquarters in 2017.”

The agency is outraged that it was not directly approached about the plans, but had to learn about them through the media. “More than 900 people work at the office and international delegations often pass by, sometimes staying in the building until late at night and staying overnight in nearby hotels.”


“The agreement with the Dutch government states that it is the responsibility of the host country to guarantee peace and safety and to prevent unrest in the immediate vicinity,” EMA writes.

“EMA will work with the European Commission at the highest political and diplomatic level to ensure a safe working environment for its staff and visitors.”

A spokesperson for Mayor Halsema informs Het Parool that she was not informed in advance of the EMA’s move. “The EMA and the erotic center will not be neighbors under any circumstances. Everyone can see that on the map with preferred locations. There is at least half a kilometer between the EMA and the locations in South.”

The erotic center must provide accommodation for about a hundred sex workers. In addition, there will be room for catering, education and care, among other things. According to the municipality, local residents and entrepreneurs can still respond to the plans before a decision is taken in the autumn.

  • New Amsterdam’s ‘erotic center’ will be located at RAI or NDSM wharf
  • Smoking in the Red Light District in Amsterdam is prohibited from mid-May
  • Amsterdam is taking measures against tourism: ‘Choose restrictions now’
  • Interior

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