Relocation to Amsterdam

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On 20 November 2017, 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 European Union (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:

  • temporary premises;
  • permanent premises;
  • staff relocation;
  • financial and legal aspects;
  • external communication.

Temporary and permanent premises (new)

EMA's new permanent headquarters, a tailor-made building in the Zuidas business district of Amsterdam, are planned for completion on 15 November 2019. 

The Dutch government will offer 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 gradually move all staff to Amsterdam before the end of March 2019 and ensure EMA’s business continuity in Amsterdam for the limited time until its new permanent building is ready.

As part of the building approval process, EMA needs to notify the Budgetary Authority (comprising the European Council and European Parliament) of its intention to relocate to a new headquarters. As a first step, in February 2018, EMA's Management Board discussed key elements of the dossier to be submitted and asked for additional information in order to progress the notification procedure in the shortest possible timeframe.

EMA can only enter into a contractual obligation for its final premises if it receives a positive opinion from the Budgetary Authority.

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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