EMA Decision Timeline: What Happens Next?


The bids are in and now the politicking begins.  The EMA decision timeline is coming to an end.  However, the most dramatic and interesting elements of the bid process are about to begin.  We have a brief overview of what to expect between now and decision day.

The European Medicines Agency has released the information it submitted to the European Commission in support of its assessment of the 19 Member States’ bids to host the Agency. One of the reasons for publishing this information was to ‘set the record straight’ on information that has appeared in multiple media sources regarding the EMA and the preferred host city of agency staff.

You can read the agency’s press release and a detailed technical analysis of each of the bids by clicking here.

There is just under 18 months to go until the European Medicines Agency leaves its London home as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU in the June 23rd 2016 Brexit referendum.  In that time the agency will need to identify a new host city and move its operations to a new European city.  Moving such an operation is a significant task.  Further to the need to move the machinery of the European regulatory system is the need to manage the influx of agency staff and visitors travelling with the agency.

October 6th 2017 – COREPR II

The next meeting of COREPR II (the representative body of the member states’ permanent representatives) will take place in the coming days.  The bids of the 19 potential host cities for the EMA and the 8 cities seeking to host the European Banking Authority will be presented on October 6th.

October 17th 2017 – GAC

The GAC (The General Affairs Committee) is the gathering of the Foreign Affairs Ministers from across the member states.  It is anticipated that there will be a political discussion about the bids at this stage and that there will be an element of further canvassing for votes on the fringes of the meeting.

October 19th and 20th 2017 – EU Council

The Heads of State  will meet on the 19th and 20th of October to discuss a number of issues including migration and a digital Europe.  It is expected, again, that the issue of the potential host city of the EMA will again raise its head in bilateral discussions between heads of state.

November 20th 2017 – Decision

Voting will take place on the above date to identify the new host city of both prestigious EU agencies.  The voting system is a two round process and details of how it will operate can be found here.  The votes will be cast by the members of the above mentioned GAC on behalf of their governments.  Once both stages are complete it is expected that the result will become known.

It should be noted that it is hard to see how Barcelona’s candidacy can survive the civil unrest and turmoil of recent weeks.  The possibility that the Catalan government might decide to declare independence from Spain in the coming days or weeks jeopardises an otherwise excellent bid.

We will keep you updated on EMA decision timeline issues in the coming days.  If you would like to stay up to date with our regulatory news then simply complete the details below to sign up for our monthly newsletter.