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EMA bidders form voting blocs

Nations competing to host the European Medicines Agency are setting up voting blocs similar to those observed in the Eurovision Song Contest, as countries battle to get past the first round.

Of the 19 countries vying to host the EU’s drug regulator, seven are in talks to form a “Mediterranean alliance”. The group, proposed by Greece, would band together votes from France, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Central European countries are making moves to form an equivalent team to gather votes.

The European Medicines Agency was set up in London in 1995 but will have to relocate in 2019 because of Brexit. Its new location will be decided by EU governments in November after a multi-stage secret voting process.

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