The European Medicines Agency released results of an internal survey that asked staff to which proposed cities they would consider relocating. The lowest-ranking city was one to which only 6% of respondents were likely or very likely to relocate.
This week, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued an update on its business continuity plan in preparation for the agency’s relocation. The EMA must move from its current location in London as the United Kingdom finalizes its withdrawal from the European Union.
As the focal point of its update, the EMA made public the results of a survey completed by 92% of EMA staff, which indicated that, for 65% of respondents, the eventual location of the EMA will be a determining factor in their decision to remain with the agency. In the worst-case scenario, the plan said, the agency could be left unable to function, and “As there is no backup, this would have important consequences for public health in the [European Union, EU].”
In the survey results, the EMA did not specify which cities had garnered higher or lower prospective retention rates, but disclosed that the top-ranking location was one to which 81% of respondents were likely or very likely to relocate. The lowest-ranking city was one to which only 6% of respondents were likely or very likely to relocate.
Using the survey results, the EMA broke the candidate locations into 4 groups:
The 19 cities with pending offers to host the EMA are as follows, in alphabetical order: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Athens, Greece; Barcelona, Spain; Bonn, Germany; Bratislava, Slovakia; Brussels, Belgium; Bucharest, Romania; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dublin, Ireland; Helsinki, Finland; Lille, France; Malta; Milan, Italy; Porto, Portugal; Sofia, Bulgaria; Stockholm, Sweden; Vienna, Austria; Warsaw, Poland; and Zagreb, Croatia.
European ministers will determine a new location for the EMA by vote in November, 2017. Under the complex voting system, each EU member state will be allowed to give 3 votes for its first choice, 2 for its second choice, and 1 for its third choice. If a city earns at least 14 separate 3-point votes, it will be named the winner. Otherwise, a second round of voting will proceed with a run-off among the 3 highest-scoring cities, with each member nation having 1 vote. In the event that no winner is determined in this second round, a final run-off will be held between the top 2 cities.