European Medicines Agency move to Amsterdam: MEPs back plans but set conditions  

Press Releases 
Plenary session 
  • MEPs stress delivery deadlines for Amsterdam building
  • Propose revising procedure for deciding location of EU agencies

The law enacting the European Medicines Agency’s relocation from London to Amsterdam, due to Brexit, was approved by MEPs on Thursday.

MEPs nonetheless pressed the EU Commission and the Dutch authorities to deliver the new facilities on time, so as to ensure a smooth transition for the agency and let it move to its temporary location no later than 1 January 2019 and to its new permanent headquarters no later than 16 November 2019.


Lead MEP Giovanni La Via (EPP, IT) said “We are concerned about the risk of delay in the construction of the new Vivaldi building in Amsterdam, as this could cause a deterioration of the agency’s workflow, which is precisely what we want to avoid.


We added conditions to the legislative text, in order to highlight the delivery deadlines to be respected and to set an obligation to report every three months on the state of play of the building’s adjustments and construction, by the Commission and Dutch authorities. 


Member states should not expect the European Parliament just to rubber-stamp their decisions. We regret that its role of co-legislator was not respected, and that is why we want this decision to be taken to a trilogue, under the co-decision procedure”.



Next steps


The resolution was passed by 507 votes to 112, with 37 abstentions. MEPs will now start informal three-way (“trilogue”) negotiations with the Council Presidency and Commission in order to strike a first-reading agreement on the new EMA seat.




The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is a decentralised agency of the EU. Its mission is to foster scientific excellence in the evaluation and supervision of medicines in the Member States of the EU and the European Economic Area.


The EMA is governed by a management board and employs 897 staff (December 2016

figures). Its main activities include: facilitating the development of and patient access to medicines; evaluating applications for marketing authorisations; monitoring the safety of medicines throughout their use in healthcare practice; and providing information to healthcare professionals, patients and the public.