The Dutch bid for the European Medicines Agency
Commitment, continuity, connectivity and community – those are the keywords in the Dutch bid for the EMA.
Today in Brussels, health minister Edith Schippers presented the Netherlands’ bid to host EMA. Wouter Bos, former deputy prime minister of the Netherlands and current chairman of the board of VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, will be the ‘ambassador’ for the Dutch candidacy. Details of the bid are available at www.netherlandsforema.eu.
The Dutch government is fully committed to offering everything the EMA needs for a smooth transition to its new home, including a tailor-made building in Amsterdam’s business district. Bert Leufkens, chair of the Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB), announced that the MEB will increase its scientific capacity to take a larger share of the post-Brexit workload. The Netherlands is investing €10 million to expand the MEB’s capacity and to help strengthen other national medicines agencies across Europe. ‘The EMA is not just any organisation,’ said Mr Leufkens. ‘The viability of the European medicines system is at stake and the MEB, as a proven strong regulator, is fully committed to helping the EMA to continue functioning effectively.’
The Netherlands’ bid guarantees a smooth and speedy transition and full operational continuity for the EMA. ‘The EMA’s work is crucial to guaranteeing patient safety in Europe,’ said Ms Schippers. ‘This critical work cannot be disrupted. We cannot allow patients to pay the price for political horse-trading. The Netherlands will provide all the support necessary to facilitate a fast, efficient and seamless relocation.’ It offers a first-class medicines regulatory agency, a high-quality working environment and workforce, dedicated expat centres and one of the highest concentrations of life sciences and health activities in Europe.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport tops the rankings when it comes to the number of direct European connections. The EMA building in Amsterdam is only 10 minutes from the airport by train. The whole region has full 4G internet coverage, with 5G pilots starting this year. These unique selling points are crucial to providing over 36,000 annual visitors from inside and outside Europe with easy access to the EMA facilities. ‘With the largest number of direct flights in the EU and high-speed rail links to European capitals, excellent public transport and a compact urban area, Amsterdam is one of the most easily accessible cities in Europe,’ said Kajsa Ollongren, the city’s deputy mayor. ‘As it is only a short distance from London, employees can, if necessary, choose to commute during the early phases. No other city can offer that level of connectivity.’
With over 180 nationalities, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is home to a truly international community. As one of the most competitive cities in the world, it offers a highly skilled international workforce, many job opportunities for partners of EMA employees, 16 international and two European schools, excellent childcare and pre-school facilities, outstanding healthcare and a wide variety of affordable, high-quality housing.