EMA HQ Heads to Amsterdam


The Dutch capital tied with Milan in the final round of voting for the European Medicines Agency (EMA), broken only by the drawing of lots. The selection took place in the margins of the General Affairs Council (Article 50), in accordance with the procedure endorsed by the European Union 27 heads of State and Government on 22 June 2017.

By July 31st 2017 19 EU Member States had submitted their bid to become EMA's new host country.

The MHRA said in a statement that it was continuing to play "a full, active role in European regulatory procedures" and would carry on after the United Kingdom left the EU, with public health and safety, a priority. Both agencies are now located in London.

Today's voting procedure was based on the criteria set out by President Jean-Claude Juncker and President Donald Tusk and endorsed by the heads of state and government of the EU-27 at the European Council (Article 50 format) on 22 June 2017. The Paris-bound European Banking Authority, which has around 180 staff members, monitors the regulation and supervision of Europe's banking sector. Not only would it bring more than 900 EMA jobs to the selected city, but also bring their families, business from pharmaceutical companies, as well as almost 30,000 visitors a year.

Speaking the day after the decision was taken to award the EMA to Amsterdam, its executive director, Guido Rasi, said "extended teleworking" would be one of a number of innovations looked at to retain staff once the EMA leaves London following Brexit.

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But Rasi admitted that this was a best-case scenario, and he accepted that the proportion of staff who would not move to Amsterdam could be higher.

Amsterdam also boasts a high quality of life that will be able to support the jobs and lifestyles of the EMA staff and their families.

"The choice for Amsterdam means that the EMA can continue its important work undisturbed after the Brexit", he said. The survey showed the Agency would lose almost half of its staff if it moved to Dublin. Amsterdam, however, appeared to be among the more popular destinations. The vast majority (81%) said they would likely or very likely to move to Amsterdam if the agency did, with Barcelona the next favourite (76%) followed by Vienna (73%), and Milan, Copenhagen and Brussels.

The agency needs at least 462 full-time employees to operate at bare bones and even then the agencies' public health mission would be imperiled.

The European Medicines Agency has less than 17 months to complete the move, but Amsterdam was considered ideally suited because of its location, the building it had on offer and other facilities. The new headquarters will be housed in a newly constructed high-rise dubbed the Vivaldi Building.