Failed Danish EMA bid triggers multi million-kroner rent loss

Stephen Gadd
December 13th, 2017

This article is more than 7 years old.

When Amsterdam won the bid to host the European Medicines Agency, Denmark lost rather more than just international face

Had the EU agency come to Denmark, it would have enjoyed a 20-year rent-free tenancy at Copenhagen Towers (photo: Leif Jørgensen)

In the bidding frenzy to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Denmark was prepared to go far in its attempt to secure the plum EU organisation with its related jobs. Just how far has now been revealed.

READ ALSO: Tech News in Brief: Cost of attracting EU medicines agency to Copenhagen spiralling

Back in September it was reported the government had made an agreement with Copenhagen Towers in Ørestad – the projected site to house the new agency – to reserve office space to the tune of 49.2 million kroner.

In addition, the government would have allowed the agency to use the space rent-free for 20 years if the Danish bid had been successful.

Good money after bad
Previously confidential figures released by the Transport and Housing Ministry now show that as well as being unsuccessful in its bid, Denmark will also forfeit the entire sum, reports Ingeniøren.

The reason given is that whilst the bidding process was still going on, Copenhagen Towers was unable to rent out the space to anyone else. Ironically, perhaps, should Denmark have been successful they would also have received a 24.6 million kroner rebate on the rent – half, in fact.

When asked about the bid back in September and the promise of free rent for 20 years, the health minister, Ellen Trane Nørby, said: “Admittedly it is a substantial sum, but that is because we think we have a good chance. Otherwise we wouldn’t have put so much energy into trying to secure the agency.”

So near, but yet so far. Gallingly for Copenhagen’s taxpayers, someone will have to absorb the loss.


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