Yesterday the European Member States (without UK) decided that Amsterdam will become the European Medicines Agency’s next host. The Agency needs to leave London following the UK’s decision to withdraw from the European Union.

Amsterdam won from Milan after a coin toss after a third round of voting ended up with equal votes. Earlier Milan, Amsterdam and Copenhagen passed to the second round in which Copenhagen was eliminated.

The outcome has been welcomed by the Agency with a sense of relief. They confirmed that an internal survey had shown that a large majority of EMA staff would be willing to move with the Agency to Amsterdam. This was not the case for all candidate cities: According to EMA’s internal survey 8 out of 19 candidate cities would not have guaranteed a staff retention of 30 % and hence not have ensured business continuity.

Even with this favourable outcome, the Agency’s activities will be impacted by the move. Based on the survey medium and low priority tasks under its business continuity plan are still likely to be affected. However, yesterday’s vote will give the EMA management more comfort that it will be able to meet its core business priorities including assessment of medicines, safety monitoring and inspections.

Please find a link to the announcement on the EMA’s website.