European Medicines Agency : “We are waiting for you”!

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On 1 August France’s bid for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to relocate to Lille was formally tabled by the Government to the European Commission.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has been in London for more than 20 years. Following Brexit, it will have to find a new address, by 31 March 2019 at the latest. Last April the government chose Lille to represent France.

The EMA plays a decisive role in European cooperation in terms of public health innovation and scientific research and evaluating applications for marketing authorisation for medicines in Europe. “With more than 36,000 scientists visiting per year and 900 direct jobs, the EMA relocating to Lille would have a significant economic impact but also a scientific impact”, explains Xavier Bertrand. Competing against 23 other cities such as Milan, Stockholm or Copenhagen, Lille is ready to meet this challenge.

So many reasons to move here

A host of property options, a geographical location at the heart of Europe, a transport infrastructure network unique in France – the regional capital has many advantages when it comes to welcoming the EMA’s 900 employees. And the region itself is also attractive: with 28,000 employees working in the health sector and the Eurasanté business park, Hauts-de-France is renowned for its scientific excellence. And then there is its size: Lille has ample capacity to accommodate the families of the EMA’s 900 employees.

“It is the closest European capital to London, which would make it easy for EMA employees to move and their families could still live in London if they wanted”, emphasised Agnès Buzyn, Minister of Social Affairs and Health.

Everyone is behind the bid: “EMA, we are waiting for you”!

“There are numerous reasons for choosing Lille in Hauts-de-France. Our region is a centre of excellence for health and research, and well connected to the whole of Europe. It is also a dynamic region, which is ready to welcome the EMA. We will ensure a tailor-made welcome with a one-stop shop approach to provide assistance for the agents and their families. Today we say to them: “EMA, we are waiting for you” Xavier Bertrand, Chairman of the Hauts-de-France Region.

“The French bid will do everything to ensure that the European Medicines Agency relocates successfully. The members of our Task Force are united behind an exemplary bid. Lille offers an attractive economic environment, especially with regard to research and health. Lille, a city at the heart of Europe, has an exceptional transport and mobility network. And Lille can promise EMA agents and their families a superb quality of life and services to meet all their expectations, just one hour from London. “EMA, Lille is waiting for you! “ Martine Aubry, Mayor of Lille.

“Lille’s central location in Europe and its excellent connections make it an attractive region for foreign businesses and institutions. A host of major international corporations have established their French or Global headquarters here in our city. Relocating to Lille for EMA means becoming part of an already international environment, which in addition is visited by lots of tourists. It also means access to high quality services.” Damien Castelain, President of European Metropolis of Lille.

Final decision on 20 November

After submitting the bids, the next important step is on 30 September: the European Commission will present its assessment of the bids. The Member States of the European Union will make their final choice on 20 November.