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European Union (EU) member states are due to select a new host city for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on November 20, 2017, after which the EMA will have just over 17 months to conclude its move and start operating in its new HQ by the end of March 2019, according to a statement issued by the agency on November 7.
EMA admits the relocation will be a challenging task, made even more complex by the “ambitious timetable” determined by the withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU. Effective collaboration between the agency and the new host country will be essential. Furthermore, EMA says it is committed to giving stakeholders and the public full visibility of the relocation project, and in early December it will make publicly available a monitoring chart that tracks the progress.
According to the statement, “The most pressing issue that needs the immediate attention of EMA and the host country is the agency’s new premises. Many administrative steps need to be taken before work on the new building can begin.”
EMA’s building plans need to be approved by the relevant local authorities, as well as its own management board and the EU budgetary authority. This process typically takes between six and eight months. Fitting out the new premises is expected to take between 12 and 15 months. Also, schools for around 600 children of EMA staff members, and affordable, good quality housing for up to 900 households must be found.
EMA has pledged to provide further updates on the implementation of its business continuity plan as they become available.
To read the full press release, click here.
Philip Ward is the European Editor for Applied Clinical Trials.