The Finnish government has announced Helsinki as its candidate to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The EMA is currently headquartered in London, the United Kingdom. The headquarters, along with its staff of roughly 900 highly skilled employees, is to be relocated due to the imminent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union - writes helsinkitimes.
Helsinki was ultimately one of only few, if not the only, viable candidates to host the agency, judging by the re-location criteria.
The location, for example, has to be accessible by air with frequent and convenient flight connections from the capitals of all other member states of the European Union. It must also offer convenient intercontinental flight connections and sufficient hotel capacity for people attending meetings and seminars.
The European Council has also stipulated that the children of agency staff must have access to international and multi-lingual schooling. Almost 650 such children were schooled in London in September, 2016.
The Finnish government states in its press release that the application will be drawn up in collaboration with the City of Helsinki. The deadline for applications is a the end of this month, while a decision on the location is to be made by the EU General Affairs Council in November, 2017.
Jan Vapaavuori (NCP), the Mayor of Helsinki, recently voiced his exasperation with the indecision of the government.
“Helsinki is working intensely on an application to host the European Medicines Agency. We have had to take initiative because the state cannot make up its mind. The application period is about to end,” he tweeted in early July.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas – AFP/Lehtikuva
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