Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Finland well equipped for relocating EMA HQ to Helsinki

01 Oct 2017, 00:17 ( 11 Months ago) | updated: 01 Oct 2017, 10:41 ( 11 Months ago)

DF Report
Photo Source: EMA.

Helsinki meets the key criteria to relocate the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Finland, according to the assessment report published by the European Commission on Saturday.

“The Commission’s assessment summary confirms that Helsinki meets the key criteria and offers an excellent location for the European Medicines Agency,” Minister of Social Affairs and Health Pirkko Mattila said with a smile, according to an official press release.

The European Commission published its assessment summaries of the offers submitted by Member States to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The criteria for the relocation include, for example, immediate readiness to provide the necessary premises, accessibility of the location of the host city and EMA office, and ability to offer high quality education to the children of the EMA staff and ensure business continuity.

Finland is offering a cost-effective, logistically functional and smooth solution to relocate EMA to Helsinki. Finland has received positive feedback for its proposal on how to address the challenges of medicine safety brought about by EMA’s relocation.

“Many find that one of our strengths is also the location of the European Chemicals Agency in Helsinki. If hosted by the same city, the two agencies could create considerable synergies,”  Mattila said.

In addition to Finland, 18 EU Member States are seeking to host the European Medicines Agency, to be relocated from London. EMA is one of the European Union’s largest and strategically most important agencies.

According Mattila, Finland will continue its intensive campaigning and promotion of the application among the Member States. The Commission’s assessment provides background information to the Member States and their Ministers responsible for European Affairs who will vote on EMA’s new location at the General Affairs Council on 20 November.

Approximately 900 public officials are working for EMA, dealing with matters related to EU citizens’ health and medicine safety.

The City of Helsinki has carried out an indicative premises mapping study for the application and found four properties that would be very suitable for EMA’s use. The list is topped by Fredriksberg, an office building under construction next to Meira Coffee Roastery in Vallila district which has excellent transport links.

In order to safeguard the continuity of EMA’s daily operations, it is important that the agency can be relocated directly to its new permanent location.

Approximately 30,000 experts and decision-makers visit EMA annually. Its relocation to Helsinki would bring Finland considerable benefits thanks to the visits alone. Finland’s strengths regarding the EMA’s relocation are a high level of competence in life sciences, a favourable climate for research and innovation, and efficient cooperation between academic research and education and the public and industrial sectors.

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