EU chemicals agency to be based in Helsinki

Finland takes consolation prize as Parma wins battle for European food safety authority

Finland's capital Helsinki will host the new European chemicals agency being set up to oversee the Reach chemicals policy, EU heads of government decided at the weekend. Finland was awarded the agency in a compromise which will see the European food safety authority based in Parma, Italy.

The European Commission had suggested the agency should be developed from the existing European chemicals bureau in Ispra, Italy; some observers are already predicting that the decision to place it instead in Finland will lead to difficulties both in persuading staff to move from Ispra and in attracting well qualified employees from other EU countries.

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