The EU’s drug regulator is within weeks of moving its staff and operations from London to Amsterdam.
After Britain voted to leave the EU in 2017, the European Medicines Agency began scoping out a new location for its headquarters building, which had been stationed in London since 1995. After closely considering Milan, the agency chose Amsterdam, and now plans to make the official leap starting March 1.
According to the EMA, about 25 percent of the agency’s 900 employees are not planning to make the move to the Netherlands, and the search is on for replacement staff.
“We have received and screened 5,000 applications for the various positions we have advertised,” the EMA said in a statement.
From March 4-8, the agency will operate using extended teleworking, with a small amount of staff on site in Amsterdam and ready to respond to emergencies. Then, from March 11-15, EMA staff will gradually take up permanent residence in Amsterdam.
Britain is set to officially leave the EU on March 29, but the country has yet to set out a formal path for its exit, leaving many regulatory questions up in the air.