Comments published on bids to host EMA

Staff retention and accessibility for delegates and experts key to ensure agency’s ability to function

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LONDON—The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently published the information it submitted to the European Commission (EC) in support of its assessment of the bids offered by 19 European Union (EU) member states to host the agency, as it seeks to relocate after the United Kingdom’s decision to exit the EU. This decision, the EMA said,  “comes following the recent publication of isolated pieces of information circulating in the press in order to complete the picture and set the record straight.”
In view of the agency’s mandate to protect public health in Europe, EMA says it has undertaken “a thorough analysis of the bids against the criteria agreed by the EU27. This is important to inform EMA’s efforts to prepare for the move.
“To ensure the agency remains operational and able to deliver on its mission after its relocation, the accessibility of the new seat for delegates and experts and staff retention are key, supported by adequate premises and facilities.”
The information provided in the documents published by the EMA consists of two different parts and is based on different methodologies.
The first part, referred to recently in various media reports, relates to the technical assessment on the proposed building(s) with indicated layout and facilities and the relocation plan. This assessment was requested by the EC and was based solely on the information provided in the offers (either available in the public offer or confidential documents/information for which access to EMA was granted).
The second part consists of a review carried out by EMA of the information related to other criteria including accessibility of the location, existence of adequate education facilities, appropriate access to the labor market, social security and medical care and business continuity.
“Based on the agency’s long experience, EMA looked at each of the criteria from various aspects and scored them according to how well they meet EMA’s requirements and how they might impact the continuity of EMA’s operations,” the EMA noted. “As described in the methodology, EMA’s review is not only based on the information provided in the public offers but also on other publicly available information.”
The EMA offered two examples to explain its approach.
First, regarding the accessibility of the location, the close proximity of hotels is an important factor due to the long working sessions at the agency ending late in the evening. EMA therefore looked at the number of hotels in walking distance of the future premises.
Second, regarding the information provided on airports close to the location, “close to the location” was not further specified. For the sake of consistency across all member states’ bids, EMA looked at the availability of flights at all airports identified in the International Air Transport Association classification list linked to the candidate host city.
The news release on this topic and related EMA documents are available on the agency’s website at

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