EMA Gets Ready for Relocation Decision

By Akia Thorpe -

November 8, 2017

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has updated the agency’s progress with its relocation to a new host city in the wake of the UK’s decision to exit the European Union (EU).

Currently, there are less than two weeks left before EU member states select a new host city for the agency on November 20, 2017. As of that date, the EMA has less than 17 months to conclude its move and take up its operations in the new host city by end of March 2019.

The EMA says the most pressing issue that needs the attention of the EMA and the host country is the agency’s new premises. “Many administrative steps need to be taken before work on the new building can begin,” the EMA said in a statement. “For instance, [the] EMA’s building plans need to be approved by local authorities, [the] EMA’s Management Board, and the EU budgetary authority. This process typically takes between six to eight months. Fit-out alone of a building that fulfils EMA’s requirements is expected to take between 12 to 15 months. Due to the tight timetable, [the] EMA, together with the European institutions and the new host country will need to explore workable solutions to speed up the approval processes and allow work to be carried out in parallel, rather than in sequence.”

Other aspects of the move that will need to be addressed include schooling for approximately 600 children and housing for up to 900 households.     

As of February 2018 at the latest, the EMA says the new host city will need to share information about the available school places for the children of EMA staff members, taking into account linguistic and other needs. This will enable EMA parents who need to transition their children into the new host country’s school system to already do so as of the beginning of the school year 2018/2019.

In addition, the new host city will need to provide information on the mix of affordable, good quality properties with good transport links to the new agency building that can accommodate different staff needs, from single occupants to large families. As of February 2018, the EMA staff will need this information when they may start looking for accommodation, according to the EMA.

Source: European Medicines Agency