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|Friday, December 08, 2000, updated at 22:39(GMT+8)|
Placement of New EU Agency Still UndecidedEuropean Union (EU) leaders have yet to decide where to place the proposed European Food Authority, despite ongoing discussions at the Nice Summit, which began on Thursday, December 7.
The food safety agency has already been approved by the European Commission, the EU executive body that drafts and enforces EU laws and regulations.
The food safety agency, which will feature a 250-member staff and a 40 million euro (35.2 million U.S. dollar) budget after three years, has sparked intense competition among cities that are eager to be its host.
Helsinki, Barcelona and Parma have all made strong bids to host the new EU body -- the centerpiece of the 15-nation bloc's plans to ensure the safety of the entire food chain, "from farm to fork. "
Observers report that one of the underdog entrants, like Brussels or Lille, which are near the heart of EU decision-making, may win the bid.
By the end of the Nice Summit, which will run until Saturday, leaders should have decided upon a location.
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