Row over EU medicine agency

Italy plans to fight in court the decision to relocate the European Medicines Agency (EMA) from London to Amsterdam following the UK's Brexit vote. The move comes after it emerged that the new complex that will house the EMA headquarters won't be ready by the moving date. Is Italy's complaint justified?

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Il Sole 24 Ore (IT) /

The citizens's health is at stake

Rome is right to lodge a complaint, Il Sole 24 Ore writes:

“It's clear that Amsterdam doesn't and won't fulfil the criteria. First and foremost the guarantee of business continuity, in other words the continuation of the EMA's activities without interruption and without delay. ... The supervisory mechanism that underlies the EMA is therefore compromised, and consequently also the protection of the health of more than 500 million EU citizens. If this had been discovered during the assessment of the candidates the states would very likely have made a different choice in the election last November.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Italy is a poor loser

Italy should play fair, La Repubblica warns:

“The country quite rightly points out that the decision in favour of Amsterdam was based on information that at the very least was inadequate. But it is wrong to demand that the agency's headquarters automatically be transferred to Milan should the decision be revised. Because if the decision in favour of Amsterdam is reversed, which is not very likely, a new vote would have to be held. ... The 13 countries that voted for Amsterdam in November knew that the building for the EMA wouldn't be ready within the next six months. ... A 60-day delay can hardly be a reason to annul the decision. If Italy weren't in the middle of an election campaign the government would probably have displayed more fair play.”