On 11th of March, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) became operational from Amsterdam thanks to the support of the Dutch authorities, after having left its London premises on 1st of March.
This relocation is one of the many consequences surrounding the decision by the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union. The Agency will temporarily work from the Spark building in Amsterdam Sloterdijk until its final premises in Amsterdam Zuidas will be ready.
Around 350 staff members have already relocated to the Netherlands before 18th of March, but individual relocation dates are kept flexible, and as such a part of the staff will telework from London in order to facilitate families to transition smoothly in the new office, in terms of schooling, spouse employment, or housing situations. Overall, EMA anticipates a loss of approximately 25% of its total workforce (around 900 staff members).
The EMA is a decentralised agency of the European Union (EU) responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU. It involves experts from across Europe and it is governed by an Independent Management Board consisting of 36 members. There are seven scientific committees and a number of working parties and related groups within the Agency, which have the role to evaluate medicines throughout their lifecycle.
In 2017, the EU proceeded to the final of three votes on the relocation of the EMA to new premises. The result was a tie between the cities of Milan and Amsterdam. Luck played a major role in winning it for Amsterdam as the city eventually won-out because EU officials drew its name out of a bowl.
London had been the seat of the European Medicines Agency since its creation in 1995.