The 27 members of the European Union voted to move the European Medicines Agency from London to Amsterdam, giving that city the win over 18 other bids received from throughout the EU. The relocation is a result of the Brexit vote in the UK to leave the EU, and the EU and EMA have agreed to an “extremely tight timeline” of completing the relocation by March 30, 2019. Some 900 staff are affected, either relocating themselves or being replaced in the transition.
“We welcome today’s decision on the new location of EMA. Now that we finally know where our journey is taking us, we can take concrete actions for a successful move,” said EMA executive director Guido Rasi, noting that business continuity is a priority during the transition. “Our internal surveys have shown that a large majority of EMA staff would be willing to move with the Agency to Amsterdam. However even in this case, our activities will be impacted and we need to plan for this now to avoid the creation of gaps in knowledge and expertise.”
The Netherlands government is of course pleased with the outcome, noting that Amsterdam is a transportation hub (which was a factor in the evaluation), with a large expat community. A location has already been identified: the Zuidas section, minutes from the Amsterdam Schiphol airport. A new office building, the Vivaldi Building, has been designated as the new home for EMA.