EMA: Amsterdam HQ Won't Be Ready in Time for Move
Posted 15 December 2017 | By
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Friday said that its new headquarters in Amsterdam will not be complete until November 2019, eight months after the agency must move from its current offices in London.
EMA's Management Board was briefed on the agency's relocation plans at its meeting earlier this week, and said it was pleased with accommodations offered by the Dutch government.
The announcement comes less than a month after the European Council chose Amsterdam to host EMA and its staff of nearly 900 after the UK departs from the EU in March 2019.
"The Dutch government will offer temporary premises to EMA from 1 January 2019, or earlier if requested by EMA, for an interim period until the building is ready," EMA said, adding that it is currently working out a memorandum of understanding with the Dutch government.
The Netherlands also set up a help desk within EMA to provide advice and assistance to current staff that plan to stay through the move.
The Management Board was briefed on EMA's business preparations ahead of the move and was told the agency would begin the second phase of its business continuity plan in January 2018 to shift resources from non-essential functions to work on Brexit-related issues.
While EMA's budget is set to increase slightly in 2018, primarily due to a foreseen increase in fee revenue, the agency says it must shift resources around and carefully monitor costs.
"This suggests that EMA will be able to maintain its core activities, but also signals that in other areas the agency will have to temporarily reduce or suspend activities," EMA said, adding that the full work program will be published in the first quarter of next year.
EMA said it will also release the details of its plan to redistribute the workload currently being done by UK regulators for human and veterinary medicines in early 2018.