Eurocrats oppose multi-story mega-brothel being built near Amsterdam headquarters

7 March 2023, 22:15 | Updated: 8 March 2023, 03:19

The European drugs regulator has opposed a plan under consideration by the City of Amsterdam to build a giant purpose-built "erotic centre" near its headquarters.
The European drugs regulator has opposed a plan under consideration by the City of Amsterdam to build a giant purpose-built "erotic centre" near its headquarters. Picture: Getty / Alamy

By Chris Samuel

The European drugs regulator has opposed a plan under consideration by the City of Amsterdam to build a giant purpose-built "erotic centre" near its headquarters.

Amsterdam wants to move legal prostitution from the infamous red light district in the city centre over complaints from residents about crime and anti-social behaviour.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in a statement it is very concerned that that the mega brothel "will create safety, security and nuisance issues" for its workers and for visiting delegates, who often have to leave the the building late in the evening.

It added: "The change of the location of the red light district is motivated by concerns of nuisance, drug-dealing, drunkenness and disorderly behaviour.

"Locating the Erotic Centre in close proximity to EMA's building is likely to bring the same negative impacts to the adjacent area."

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The new centre, where legalised prostitution would take place, has faced strong opposition from locals.

The EMA moved its HQ to the city's southern Zuidas district in 2019 following the UK's exit from the EU.

The EMA HQ in Amsterdam
The EMA HQ in Amsterdam. Picture: Getty

Zuidas is one of a number of locations that are under consideration for the project.

In 2021, Amsterdam officials agreed plans to relocate the city's red-light district which has seen rising crime and overcrowding in the area's canalside paths and narrow lanes.

Architects were commissioned to design a building with rooms for sex services, as well as entertainment centres and bars.

Amsterdam's red-light district is internationally known and one of the main tourist attractions of the city. It offers legal prostitution and a number of coffee shops that sell marijuana.
Amsterdam's red-light district is internationally known and one of the main tourist attractions of the city. It offers legal prostitution and a number of coffee shops that sell marijuana. Picture: Getty

Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema has said she wanted to reduce the influence of organised crime and improve the situation of sex workers.

Speaking to the Observer last November, she said: "I hope it's possible to create an erotic centre that has some class and distinction and isn't a place where only petty criminals and the most vulnerable women gather."

Ms Halsema also admitted that she was aware many local residents wouldn't want it to be located near them.

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