Yesterday, in a letter to the European Council and the European Commission, the Netherlands officially announced the candidacy of the Amsterdam metropolitan area for hosting the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The EMA is currently located in London but will have to move to another EU member state due to the UK’s plans to leave the EU. The Netherlands is ready to give the EMA and its staff every assistance in relocating to the Netherlands, to ensure the continuity of the agency’s work.
‘The EMA’s work is vital for the safety of our medicines and therefore for all patients in the Netherlands and throughout the EU,’ says State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport Martin van Rijn. ‘That work must not be disrupted. The Netherlands offers all the facilities necessary for the agency to relocate quickly and efficiently. What’s more, its own Medicines Evaluation Board is one of the most prominent national medicines regulators in Europe. In short, the Netherlands is the perfect location for the EMA after Brexit.’
As well as needing an excellent, readily accessible location for its headquarters, the EMA will need good housing, international schools and healthcare for its staff, and access to the labour market for their partners. Thanks to the close cooperation between all stakeholders in the Amsterdam metropolitan area, the Netherlands can guarantee the EMA a top-class location within 15 minutes of one of Europe’s biggest airports, with first-rate facilities for its staff and 65,000 annual visitors.
According to Kasja Ollongren, a member of Amsterdam’s municipal executive, ‘Amsterdam is an internationally oriented city. Its robust physical and digital connections make it the ideal location for the EMA. For years, our region has been a top location for the medical industry and science. Multinationals, start-ups and research institutes collaborate closely here on innovative solutions. And this mindset has not gone unnoticed: last year Amsterdam was proclaimed the European Capital of Innovation by the European Union.’
The EMA is responsible for assessing the effectiveness, quality and safety of new medicines admitted to the EU market. It also monitors the safety of medicines already approved and promotes research into and development of new medicines. Every year the EMA organises hundreds of meetings attended by thousands of experts from Europe and beyond. It employs about 900 highly qualified staff from across the EU.
The EU is expected to adopt the decision-making procedure for the EMA’s relocation in the near future.