Tuesday, 02 May 2017

European Medicine Agency employees prefer relocation to Barcelona


London (ACN).- Barcelona is one of the cities which has presented a proposal to host the European Medicines Agency, which will have to relocate from London due to Brexit. Moreover, it is the preferred option of its nearly 900 employees, who say they will be happy to relocate here. “This makes our candidature the only one which could guarantee that the essence of the EMA will remain the same, since its employees and therefore the talent will maintain,” explained Catalan Minister for Health, Toni Comín. He was one of the main speakers this Tuesday in London at the presentation of Barcelona’s candidacy to host the EMA. He was accompanied by Spanish Minister for Health, Dolors Montserrat and Barcelona’s deputy mayor, Jaume Collboni, who emphasized that the three levels of administration are “working together” to bring the EMA to the Catalan capital.

“Barcelona is the winning candidacy to host the EMA, since it meets all the requirements,” assured Montserrat. Indeed, Comín said that Barcelona’s possibilities to host the EMA “are very good” and that after this Tuesday's meeting at the EMA headquarters in London they are “even more convinced than before”. All those topics which are of concern to employees and their families “will be addressed with a special office” both in London and in Barcelona to advise them in relation to “the education centers available for their children, how to find the best accommodation, and the appropriate coaching for employees' families to find jobs,” explained Monsterrat.

The Spanish Minister for Health also emphasized Barcelona’ connectivity with the rest of Europe and the world. “There are 80 daily flights to Europe and the Catalan capital is also connected to the US and Asia,” she added.

“We are all together in this,” explained Catalan Minister for Health, Toni Comín, emphasizing that what is good for Barcelona is good for Catalonia, and what is good for Catalonia is good for Spain. “And what is good for Spain is also good for Europe,” added Montserrat. Comín insisted that not only are the institutions convinced of the project’s strength but so is “the whole of society”, including the leading pharmaceutical companies in Catalonia, the research centers, universities, business associations, patients associations and many more. Indeed, 23% of the scientists in Spain and 40% of the 30 world’s leading pharmaceutical companies in Spain are based in Catalonia.

Offices at iconic Torre Agbar, one of the proposal's strongest selling points

“Offering an iconic building such as Barcelona’s Torre Agbar is one of the candidacy’s strongest assets,” explained Barcelona’s deputy mayor, Jaume Collboní. Moreover, besides being one of the most famous buildings in the Catalan capital's skyline, it also means the whole building will be at the EMA’s disposal “and at half the price they currently pay” in London’s Canary Wharf, he explained. “The building is reserved until June and we are negotiating to extend it if necessary,” said Collboni, regarding the possibility that the relocation could start later than expected, in October rather than in June. “Our proposal is ready either way,” assured Comín and added that the October deadline would allow the candidacy promoters “and all the organisms involved to convince the rest of Europe of the suitability of Barcelona’s candidacy. 

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  • Catalan Minister for Health, Toni Comín, his Spanish homologue, Dolors Montserrat and Barcelona's Deputy Mayor, Jaume Collboni, presented in London Barcelona's candidature to host the EMA (by ACN)