Saturday 26 September 2020

Dutch ‘not worried’ about European Medicines Agency decision

The EMA site January 2018 Photo: S Boztas

A delegation of MEPs and Italian journalists were in Amsterdam on Thursday to check out progress on the future European Medicines Agency offices.

The Netherlands won the right to host the agency when it leaves London after Brexit next year in a close run competition with Milan, eventually settled by drawing lots.

But Italian MPs, buoyed by the pending Italian national elections, have been quick to make political capital out of the fact that the Dutch office for the EMA won’t be completed until November next year and that the organisation will first have to move to temporary accommodation.

Dutch officials, including health minister Hugo De Jonge, were on hand to brief the visitors and answer questions. ‘The Netherlands pulled out all the stops to show that the Italian MEPs’ concerns were being treated seriously,’ the Financieele Dagblad said.

The European parliament will vote on the issue in the middle of March in what is seen as a formality, although Italian MEPs are now campaigning for a no vote.

‘Is the Netherlands worried that it could still lose the EMA to Italy? “Not really”, was the not very convincing reply of deputy prime minister Hugo de Jonge at the end of the afternoon,’ the FD said.

Italy has also taken the issue to the European Court of Justice, accusing the Netherlands of cheating by not making it clear that the agency would have to move twice.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.