Relocation to Amsterdam

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On 20 November 2017, European Union (EU) Member States decided to relocate the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, as a result of the United Kingdom’s (UK) withdrawal from the EU. The Agency immediately began working with the Dutch authorities to prepare for the move and take up its operations in Amsterdam on 30 March 2019 at the latest.

EMA and the Netherlands have agreed a joint governance structure to steer and oversee the relocation project, with plans to progress activities within five work streams dealing with EMA's temporary premises, its permanent premises, staff relocation, financial and legal aspects, and external communication.

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Tracking tool 

EMA has published a tracking tool showing the main milestones and deliverables for the Agency’s move to Amsterdam: 

The tool provides a general overview of the main milestones for each work stream (except external communication, which is an ad-hoc activity) and provides further detail, highlighting clearly if EMA is on track to meet the various deliverables.

The tracking tool is a living document, which EMA will update every month. For best results viewing the PDF document, use Acrobat Reader or Chrome web browser.

Temporary and permanent premises 

EMA's new permanent headquarters, a tailor-made building in the Zuidas business district of Amsterdam, are planned for completion in November 2019.

The building has been commissioned by the Dutch government and will be built by the Central Government Real Estate Agency (CGREA) together with a consortium of construction companies. The laying of the foundation stone was marked with a ceremony on 28 May 2018.

The Dutch government has offered temporary premises to EMA, the Spark building in the Sloterdijk area of Amsterdam, from 1 January 2019 until its permanent building is completed. 

This will allow EMA to move all staff to Amsterdam before the end of March 2019 and ensure EMA’s business continuity in Amsterdam until its new permanent building is ready.

Seat Agreement (updated) 

EMA and the Dutch Government have signed a Seat Agreement, which ensures that EMA can function properly and independently in the Netherlands.

It also provides assurance that EMA staff members and their families who need to relocate early to the Netherlands can do so under the protection of the Seat Agreement immediately.

It is similar to agreements that apply to other EU agencies established in the country.

Background to relocation decision 

The EU 27 Member States took the decision to relocate EMA to Amsterdam on 20 November 2017 in the margins of the General Affairs Council (Article 50) of the European Council

The decision followed an assessment by the European Commission and EMA of the formal offers submitted by nineteen Member States to host the Agency. 

Member States had until 31 July 2017 to submit their bids to the European Council

The European Commission examined the bids in line with the agreed criteria for the decision on EMA’s new location and submitted its assessment to the Council on 30 September 2017.

EMA published the information it submitted to support the European Commission's assessment of the 19 Member State bids to host the Agency on 3 October:

EMA made available the results of a staff retention survey carried out in September 2017 as part of business continuity planning, after staff had the opportunity to study the Member State bids. For more information, see:

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Video: Press briefing on EMA's relocation to Amsterdam

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