More than two months to choose the host city for the european medicines Agency. Saturday 30 September, the european Commission has published a document evaluating the 19 applications at the reception of the institution in charge of monitoring and licensing of health products. The EMA (EMA in English) will leave its London headquarters after the Brexit. The Commission has not established classification. Nevertheless, she insists on the respect of certain criteria. It “believes that it is appropriate to focus on the essential elements to ensure the sustainability of the activities during the phase of relocation and expire immediately”.
In addition, the drug Agency must “continue to function smoothly and without interruption after march, 2019”, also requires Brussels. In addition to “objective criteria”, the european Commission recalls that “the joint statement also mentions the interest of respect for the […] the priority given to the acceding States for the allocation of seats to other agencies that will be created, which is also valid for the transfer of existing agencies”. In looking at the assessments, you learn by watermark which, among the nineteen cities, has more of a chance to host the institution.
France, encompasses a great part of the criteria
Local, accessibility, structures, living conditions, geographical location,… The France meets the majority of criteria set by the european Union, but some flaws remain.
Lille offers a building of 30,000 m2, it ensures the “cut” to accommodate the Agency of the drug, which is far from being the case for all cities. Some evoke the construction or redevelopment of buildings already existing, with uncertainties on their adaptation to accommodate the institution of medicine. A catch, however, for the city in the North of France: it has not provided details on the security of information systems and technologies of the proposed building.
Regarding the date of availability of infrastructure to host the european medicines Agency, Lille promises to be ready by 31 march. A proposal in the middle of those of other cities, and even better than that of Barcelona (fourth quarter of 2019), a serious contender. Lille, however, is less ambitious than in Helsinki (may 2018 to march 2019), or Milan (end January 2019) a Few cities, like Zagreb, have not given to date, which could well be eliminated.
Accessibility, Lille ranks also among the best of the candidate cities. It evokes important connections with european airports and frequency of flights daily than cities such as Dublin, Malta, and competing with Barcelona. Another interesting point: the ability to retain a large portion of the staff working in the Agency located in London (900 employees currently), and provide services to help them in their move. Because the great advantage of Lille is its proximity to London. With Brussels, it is the candidate city is the closest to the current seat of the european Agency of the drug. And it is a criterion to be particularly important:
“For some locations, the retention rate of staff could be very much below 30%. This would mean that the Agency would not be able to operate”, explained the european Agency of the drug in a press release.
In the best case, the candidate cities may retain 81% of the staff.
Lille does not meet other criteria that are less important that the availability of the reception building, but that may weigh in the last line right. It is a matter of “special conditions” proposed in relation to the total costs and specific infrastructure (such as parking spaces, crèches), or benefits which may be granted to the agency and/or its staff (financial and tax). Another element that may disqualify Lille: France already hosts three european agencies.
Read also : Brexit : Paris in the face of a stiff competition for the european banking Authority
Vote of the countries of the EU on 20 November
Several key criteria place, however, to Lille in the top of the list with cities such as Dublin, Barcelona, Vienna, Milan, Helsinki or Brussels.
Conversely, Bratislava, Bucharest, Zagreb or Sofia, do not seem to fill enough of the criteria. But the final decision will probably go beyond the simple objective criteria.
It will be issued on 20 November by a vote of the 27 countries of the european Union. During the first round, each State will give three points to his preferred offer, the two to the next, to the third. If a city is designated as the favorite of the 14 States, it wins, otherwise a second round will compete in the 3 cities with the most collected points. A city must be chosen by the 14 States, if not a last round will be organised between the two cities receiving the most votes.
According to the website Politico, the negotiations are in progress between certain countries. France would negotiate potentially with Germany in order to win support to host the european medicines Agency and to support its neighbor to obtain the arrival of the european banking Authority. But for certain personalities, like the mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry, the French don’t have enough support for the nomination of the city to the North. The elected socialist has called for Monday, October 2, Emmanuel Macron active support, that “lack” to help him become the happy chosen one.