European Parliament to inspect if Amsterdam merits medicines agency relocation

EMA site January 2017 Photo: S Boztas

A European Parliament delegation is to investigate the decision to move the European Medicines Agency from London to Amsterdam.

The delegation will be lead by Giovanni La Via, who asked the Dutch ambassador to organise an inspection at the end of January, after it emerged that the EMA would initially be placed in ‘not optimal’ temporary accommodation in Sloterdijk.

Milan had tied with Amsterdam as the EU member states’ favoured location for the medicines regulation and safety agency after Brexit, but the Dutch capital won on a draw in November last year.

Public broadcaster NOS reports on Friday that European Parliament faction leaders have now approved an investigation, after the Italian government and Milan city leaders called for the Amsterdam choice to be reversed.

At a press conference in The Hague in January, it was announced that the purpose-built EMA building in Zuidas would not be ready until November 2019. Instead, the Dutch government would rent a smaller site from January for the agency in Sloterdijk – at its own expense.

EMA executive director Guido Rasi admitted it was a compromise and that the body would have to rent external meeting facilities. ‘It’s not optimal: we only have half of the space compared to our current premises,’ he said.

The delegation will report its findings to the European Parliament environment committee in March, reports NOS, and this body must then formally agree to the EMA relocation.

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