EMA Am­s­ter­dam move favoured:


Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Pick­ing Am­s­ter­dam, Barcelona or Vi­enna as the new head­quar­ters of Europe’s drugs reg­u­la­tor af­ter Brexit would be the best op­tion for re­tain­ing staff, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey of its work­ers.

The Euro­pean Medicines Agency (EMA), whose ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor is Guido Rasi, on Tues­day warned that it could lose more than 70 per­cent of its staff, mak­ing it un­able to func­tion, if politi­cians pick an un­pop­u­lar base for the Lon­don-based agency once Britain leaves the Euro­pean Union.

It cited a sur­vey of its around 900 staff, but has de­clined to rank the 19 can­di­date cities.

The sur­vey re­sults, re­viewed by Reuters, put Mi­lan and Copen­hagen in fourth and fifth place, re­spec­tively af­ter the three most pop­u­lar.

Dutch of­fi­cials, who asked not to be named, said they un­der­stood they were first choice among the EMA’s work­ers, hop­ing this would be taken into ac­count by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion when it made its rec­om­men­da­tions.

The Com­mis­sion is as­sess­ing new lo­ca­tions, but the de­ci­sion rests with EU lead­ers who will try to reach a deal at their next sum­mit in Oc­to­ber, with a fi­nal de­ci­sion ex­pected a month later.

The EMA, which de­clined to com­ment, sees keep­ing staff as key to main­tain­ing essen­tial ser­vices such as new drug ap­proval and mon­i­tor­ing side ef­fects, fol­low­ing the planned move from Lon­don.

In its state­ment on Tues­day, the watchdog warned that only the five most pop­u­lar of the 19 can­di­date cities would per­mit it to largely main­tain key func­tions. Even then it would take to three years to fully re­cover from the dis­rup­tion.

The EU’s need to en­sure busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity could clash with an­other EU am­bi­tion — spread­ing the bloc’s agen­cies more evenly across Europe and giv­ing newer, eastern mem­ber states a chance to catch up.

All of the top five can­di­date cities favoured by EMA staff are in coun­tries that al­ready host one or more EU agen­cies. Some of the lower rank­ing cities are in Bul­garia, Croa­tia, Slo­vakia and Ro­ma­nia, where there are none.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.