It’s official: EMA to move into permanent Amsterdam premises in November ‘19 amid continued protests from Italy

Almost four months after the fateful “coin toss” that decided the EMA’s relocation to Amsterdam, the (currently) London-based regulatory agency has formally hammered out a transition plan with the Dutch government.

At a meeting Wednesday, the EMA’s management board notified the EU Budgetary Authority of its intention to move into new permanent premises in the business district of Zuidas, after voting on the revised proposal by the Dutch. The date of completion is November 15, 2019, meaning that the EMA will be working out of a temporary office for eight months post-Brexit, which is set for March 2019.

Guido Rasi

The temporary digs are located at the Spark building in Sloterdijk, a district to the northwest of the Amsterdam city centre. As previously announced, this office will only have half the floor space of the EMA’s old one in London. In a January press conference, executive director Guido Rasi admitted the premises are “not ideal,” but emphasized the temporary building will still be able to host all core businesses.

Last week, members of the European parliament toured the facility, along with the site of the EMA’s future home, the Zuidas — which encompasses the city’s World Trade Center complex.

Meanwhile, bitter over losing the bid, the Italian government is still protesting against the relocation and urging the EMA to reconsider moving to Milan.

“The temporary location is a good building, but the real problem is the risk of the delay of the new building construction, which means a huge amount of work,” Giovanni La Via, an Italian member of the European Parliament, told reporters at a press conference following the Amsterdam tour.

Italy has even asked the European Court to annul the decision to relocate to Amsterdam, though some in the European Commission have dismissed the legal action as a political ploy to please Italian voters.

Aside from the office, Amsterdam has also been working with the EMA to figure out accommodations for its 900 staffers, job prospects for their partners as well as schooling for the 500-plus children moving with them.

Image: The Zuidas, Amsterdam. Shutterstock

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