Irish Government promises up to €10m to bring EMA staff to Dublin

1 Aug 2017

Places available for let and sale in Dublin. Image: Pebo/Shutterstock

The Government has promised to spend up to €10m relocating the families of EMA staff in the hope of winning the bid to move it from London.

Dublin has joined 22 cities in formally submitting its bid to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA), one of the world’s largest pharma regulatory bodies, in the wake of the Brexit result last year.

As an EU organisation, the EMA is being forced to move its office from London as, from 2019, it will no longer be based within the union. Dublin hopes it has what it takes to convince the organisation to move here.

Total commitment of €78m

According to the bid posted online by the Government, the deal is being sweetened with a promise to spend €10m to relocate families of EMA staff to the capital, in addition to committing €78m towards the upkeep of the organisation, including its rent and maintenance.

If successful, the Government will also begin providing office space from next year to help the EMA plan its move to Dublin.

“The future location of the EMA is too important for this to be a purely political decision,” the report said.

“It is vital that member states, in their considerations, carefully consider those factors, which will continue to allow the EMA to function at the highest level.”

One of the Government’s key points is that it promises to offer the smoothest transition from London to Dublin, citing the quick and regular flights between the two capital cities.

Following the report’s publishing, Minister for Health Simon Harris, TD, suggested that moving to Dublin “also offers the option to commute if families of EMA staff wish to remain in London for a period after Brexit”.

He added: “The Government is satisfied that the Irish offer to host the EMA fully meets all the stated criteria and 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.”

Ireland a ranked outsider

Highlighted in earlier this year, the successful city will be expected to meet a number of requirements, including regular flights to all of the EU member states and an ability to have 350 hotel rooms every night during a major conference.

A report released by KPMG last May found Paris to be the most ideal location for the EMA, topping its rankings of the 23 cities looking to host it.

Dublin was believed to be low in this list – joining the likes of Vienna and Barcelona – with some weaknesses, but ahead of other cities such as Rome and Madrid.

The winning bid is expected to be announced in October of this year.

Places available for let and sale in Dublin. Image: Pebo/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic