At least seven countries are jockeying to host EUs medicine watchdog after

first_imgThe decision on where to move EMA will be made by the European Council, comprised of the leaders of the remaining 27 member states, after what is expected to be extensive political negotiations. An EMA spokesperson says the agency has made a list of things the new location should have. It includes good transport links, a large enough building, and hotel capacity nearby. “For our staff we need sufficient housing, access to international/European schools, employment opportunities for spouses/partners in a safe location,” the spokesperson adds.Observers say it is far too early to consider which country best meets those demands. But moving the agency will be a “Herculean task” requiring lots of planning, says Martin Munte, president of the Austrian Pharmaceutical Industry Association in Vienna, so an early decision could help to keep disruptions to a minimum. “I know for a fact that the agency will lose half its collaborators when it moves,” says pharmacologist Adam Cohen, who heads the Centre for Human Drug Research in Leiden, the Netherlands. “You have to rebuild it completely, wherever it moves.”Many of the candidates believe it’s never too soon to start lobbying. Milan, Italy, Mayor Giuseppe Sala traveled to London in July 2016, weeks after the Brexit vote, to make a pitch. Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said the same month that the Spanish government would “fight for Barcelona as the seat of EMA.” Several governments have set up working groups to strengthen their bids. All have their arguments lined up. Barcelona feels it deserves the agency because it came in second when London was chosen. Eastern European countries can point to the dearth of EU agencies in their region. German pharmaceutical associations say Bonn is perfect because it’s already the home of the Federal Institute of Drugs and Medical Devices, which is larger than EMA. The Dutch government says its central location and excellent connections at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport make it an ideal hub; it also suggests that the Netherlands deserves EMA as “compensation” because the country’s economy will be harder hit by Brexit than most. How much any of these arguments will matter is anyone’s guess. And then of course there is still the faintest of hopes, shared by many scientists, that the move won’t be necessary because the relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom can be rekindled. “If Brexit didn’t happen, that would be the best thing,” Cohen says. “But assuming the world intends to do something this stupid, then you have to move the EMA.”*Update, 22 January, 6:40 p.m.: This story has been updated to include comment from an EMA spokesperson. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country When a relationship ends, there are usually just two people to fight over who gets what. Not so with Brexit. The United Kingdom hasn’t even triggered the negotiations to end its membership of the European Union, but already half a dozen countries are jockeying to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA), currently located in London. This week, the Dutch government became the latest to announce it wants to host the influential regulatory agency once Brexit is a done deal.In a Q&A posted with the announcement (Dutch), the government noted that Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Hungary, and Malta have all said they will seek to host EMA. But Spain, Denmark, Germany, and Finland have unofficially expressed an interest as well. Other countries, like France, may still come forward.Set up in 1995, EMA employs about 900 people, making it one of the biggest EU agencies; it has a €300 million annual budget and draws some 65,000 visitors to more than 500 international meetings every year.last_img read more