Erotic centre not next to EMA says mayor, as locals slam ‘mega brothel’

Artist's impression of potential erotic centre Image: Amsterdam council
An artist’s impression of what the erotic centre could look like. Image: Amsterdam council

Amsterdam’s plans to potentially locate a new erotic centre in the south of the city will not have an impact on safety at the European Medicines Agency, city mayor Femke Halsema has told the Parool.

On Tuesday the EMA said it was raising the issue with the European Commission because it is ‘very concerned’ the centre will ‘create safety, security and nuisance issues for the 900 + staff, coming to and from work, and for the large number of international delegates.’

Halsema’s spokesman told the paper the EMA offices and erotic centre will not be neighbours.

‘Everyone can see that on the map,’ she said. ‘There is at least 500 metres between the EMA and potential locations. In addition, the police consider the locations offer few risks and the sex work will be carried out inside the complex, not on the street.’

The city plans to replace 100 of the 249 brothel windows in the red light district with a multi-storey centre for prostitution and erotic entertainment, built by a private developer on city land. Two of the potential locations are in Zuid, the other by the NDSM district in Noord.

A decision on a final location is expected later this year.

Meanwhile, over 250 locals attended a meeting organised by opposition parties about the plans at the RAI exhibition centre on Tuesday night and were virtually united in their condemnation of the plan.

‘They call it an erotic centre, but let’s face it, we are talking about a mega brothel,’ local Suzanne Stofberg is quoted as saying by the Parool. ‘And they want to build it in a residential neighbourhood with lots of schools. Outrageous.’


‘I know people living in the red light district don’t want us to suffer the same problems as they do,’ said Kees de Visser, from the Miranda neighbourhood association. The ‘council sex club’ is a ‘distasteful plan’, he told the audience.

AMC doctor Jan Taminiau said he fully understood the EMA’s objections, despite the mayor’s assertions the two buildings would not be next door to each other.

‘All their staff will soon have to pass the centre to get to the station, often late at night,’ he said. ‘I know that if the EMA had known about this, Amsterdam would never have been chosen as a location.’

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