Posted 02 December 2014
By Alexander Gaffney, RAC
Members of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) met last week to consider an unprecedented question: How should they select a new, permanent leader after they were forced to fire the last one?
On 13 November 2014, the EU Civil Service Tribunal found that Guido Rasi, then EMA's executive director of three years, had been appointed through an improper selection process and that his appointment would be annulled.
At the time, a seemingly stunned EMA said it was scrambling to assess its options. Rasi was immediately removed from his position and replaced on an acting basis by Andreas Pott, EMA's deputy executive director. Pott had briefly helped to run the agency in 2010 after the departure of former executive director Thomas Lönngren.
Kent Woods, the chair of EMA's Management Board, said he noted "with regret [the] judgment by the European Union Civil Service Tribunal."
For more on the removal of Guido Rasi, please see our story on the tribunal ruling.
EMA Board: Rasi Out of Power, But Maybe Not for Long
On 27 November 2014, EMA said it convened an "extraordinary meeting" of its Management Board to "discuss the consequences of the judgment … that annulled the appointment of the Agency's Executive Director, Guido Rasi."
The tribunal's decision is, it seems, all but final in the eyes of EMA's Board, which said it was working to finalize the new selection procedure "suggested by the European Commission."
A new vacancy announcement for the position of executive director is set to be announced "shortly," EMA wrote.
For the time being, EMA is also asking its Management Board "to explore how Guido Rasi can best support the Agency in the coming months as his contract is in operation."
It remains unclear if EMA will reconsider Rasi for the position of executive director once the position is announced. EMA noted the tribunal's decision "did not object in any way to the [Management] Board's procedures and decision-making," meaning it may well exercise its option to re-appoint Rasi if he is selected as a candidate under the new selection procedure.