Speech Minister Bruno Bruins at press conference about relocation European Medicines Agency (EMA) from London to Amsterdam

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends of the press,

You just saw the video that was part of our bid for the European Medicine Agency. It’s only two months ago that the results came out. And we celebrated the great news. The Netherlands was chosen as the new home ground for the major European Institute EMA. To welcome around nine hundred employees. To welcome a wealth of knowledge and experience.

From the start, we have been fully aware of the challenge facing us: Continuity of EMA’s important work is crucial for millions of patients in Europe. So, to ensure this continuity, we promised temporary headquarters to EMA’s staff while awaiting the new costum designed building.

I am delighted to announce today that the contract for the temporary housing of EMA’s staff has been signed! As of the first of January 2019 until the new headquarters are fully equipped, EMA will be based in the Spark building in Amsterdam Sloterdijk.

Spark is situated in the heart of Amsterdam Sloterdijk. The motorways A5 and A10 motorways are easily accessible and the building is at a walking distance from the train, tram, bus and metro transport hub. The train takes you to the centre of Amsterdam in - literally - 5 minutes time. And Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – which serves over 300 global destinations – is exactly 10 minutes away.

The location was chosen with great care and in close cooperation with EMA. We listened carefully to EMA’s wishes. This led to a location that not only offers sufficient work space, but provides suitable conference facilities as well. All under one roof; in line with a special request from EMA.

Of course, the temporary housing is not as splendid as the custom designed headquarters that will be built for EMA. But then again, it’s always nice to have something to anticipate. Continuity, however, is guaranteed – just as we promised.

We consider this another major step in this unique and exciting process. Exciting for Amsterdam. Exciting for EMA. And especially exciting for all the men, women and children who are about to start a new life in the Netherlands. To them, I would like to say: we are fully committed to make your relocation as smooth as possible. To provide you with all the help and advice you seek to settle down.

We are working hard to find houses for you and your families, schools for your children and other facilities you will need. I am proud to tell you that this is going very well. We are almost ready to receive you, and your loved ones.

Our Dutch staff in London is standing by to answer any questions you may have. For example, they can help you with questions regarding career opportunities for partners, the Dutch healthcare system, the schooling system and the different school types you can choose from. Don’t worry – we will be there for you all the way!

Ladies and gentlemen,

I want to thank everybody involved in the relocation of EMA. Thank you for your hard work, for your enthusiasm, for your dedication. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but I am proud of what you have already achieved. And special thanks to EMA for being so pleasant and productive to work with.

Now, I can imagine that you have many questions. Please keep in mind that, after this meeting, you will be taken to the building site in Amsterdam. There, our team of experts will address all the technical questions you might have.