March 4. 2024. 11:47

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Amsterdam ‘erotic centre’: EMA unhappy at planned red-light district

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) says it fears "nuisance, drug-dealing, drunkenness and disorderly behaviour".

Amsterdam’s mayor, Femke Halsema, wants to build a multi-storey "erotic centre" to replace its central red-light area.

But she faces strong local opposition to the new centre, where legalised prostitution would take place.

Now the EMA has joined the criticism, saying the problems currently plaguing the red-light district would simply be transferred to any new location.

"Locating the Erotic Centre in close proximity to EMA’s building is likely to bring the same negative impacts to the adjacent area," it said in a statement.

The EMA moved its headquarters to Amsterdam’s southern Zuidas district in 2019 after the UK left the EU. Zuidas is one of several locations under consideration for the erotic centre.


In 2021, Amsterdam officials agreed plans to move the city’s infamous red-light district amid rising crime and overcrowding in the area’s narrow lanes and canalside paths.

They commissioned architects to design a building containing rooms for sex services, as well as bars and entertainment centres.

Ms Halsema said she wanted to improve the situation of sex workers and reduce the influence of organised crime.

She also admitted that she was aware many residents would not want it located near them.

Last month, Amsterdam announced rules making it illegal to smoke cannabis on the street in Amsterdam’s red-light district, as well as limiting bar and restaurant opening hours.

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