Ireland has submitted its formal bid to relocate the European Medicines Agency (EMA) from London to Dublin.
The EMA is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU. It ensures that all available medicines are safe, effective and of high quality.
The agency employs almost 900 people and is currently located in London, but will have to move from this location as a result of Brexit. The Government decided to put Dublin forward as a potential location and has now submitted its formal bid.
According to the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, relocation to Dublin ‘will lead to the best outcomes for the agency, its staff, stakeholders and most importantly, the citizens of Europe'.
"Maximising staff retention and continuing to attract the best expertise to the EMA are vital to the future of the agency. Moving the EMA to a neighbouring country, where English is the main language, is the least disruptive option for London-based staff. Dublin also offers the option to commute if families of EMA staff wish to remain in London for a period after Brexit," he explained.
He also insisted that the quality of life in Dublin is ‘excellent' and that it is a ‘safe, tolerant, multicultural city with a vibrant cultural and social life'.
"Dublin is already home to citizens from across Europe and is experienced in integrating large, multinational workforces into the local community," the Minister noted.
He said that the Government is confident that the Irish bid to host the EMA ‘fully meets all the stated criteria'.
"We are fully committed to ensuring that the EMA can continue to deliver, without interruption, an excellent service to citizens and industry in a post-Brexit Europe. We firmly believe that a move to Dublin will ensure that European citizens can continue to have access to safe, innovative medicines, and that the EMA retains its reputation for excellence in the global regulatory system," Minister Harris added.
As part of its bid, the Government said that it will contract the services of relocation experts to assist EMA staff and their families who choose to move here from London.
The Government will also make a total contribution of €78 million over a 10-year period toward the expenses related to a new premises, and three suitable buildings have already been identified as potential EMA headquarters.
A video on Ireland's EMA bid can be viewed here