Plans for New EMA Headquarters Unveiled

February 3, 2018
Samantha DiGrande

On January 29, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) held a joint press conference with members of the Dutch government to unveil plans for the new customized headquarters facility being built in the Zuidas business district.

On January 29, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) held a joint press conference with members of the Dutch government to unveil plans for the new, customized headquarters facility being built in the Zuidas business district.

Bruno Bruins, minister for medical care in The Netherlands, took the stage to announce that, due to the tight timeline of the move—the EMA needs to be up and running by March 1, 2019 in Amsterdam—the agency will be able to utilize the temporary headquarters as soon as January 1, 2019.

“We are fully committed to making your relocation as smooth as possible, to provide you with all the help and advice you seek to settle down. We are working hard to find houses for you and your families, schools for your children, and other facilities you may need, and we are almost ready to receive you and your loved ones,” said Bruins.

The executive director of EMA, Guido Rasi, MD, commended Amsterdam for its willingness to engage in negotiations with EMA staff as they look to preserve the work that benefits “500 million cities in Europe and protect public health.” Rasi also underscored the fact that, in a staff survey last year, 81% of EMA’s 900 workers said they would move to Amsterdam if the city were selected for the agency’s new home after it leaves London, United Kingdom, as a result of the nation’s Brexit decision.

Finally, Udo Kock, deputy mayor of Amsterdam, noted that the city is committed to settling the EMA employees and their families quickly and making them feel at home. He believes that Amsterdam has already shown how serious this commitment is by actively helping EMA transition through the implementation of a specialized help desk.

“The relocation of EMA is very important to Amsterdam. This world-class institution with its highly specialized staff adds to Amsterdam’s international appeal as a place to live, to work, and to invest,” said Kock.

The press conference also included a viewing of the video that Amsterdam submitted to the EMA as part of its bid to host the regulatory body. In the presentation, Amsterdam touted its commitment to all EMA employees and their families by providing them with individual support and coaching to assist in finding housing and schools for their children. In order to maintain continuity and limit the effects of the move on the EMA, Amsterdam will provide a temporary headquarters until the custom building is ready for use. The new building will be within a 10-minute train ride to Schipol, Amsterdam’s international airport, and also in the proximity of many international and European schools.