EU MEDICINE AGENCY with 900 jobs and 500 family members to the Metropole Region Amsterdam

A lottery is how Amsterdam is now officially the next home of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). 900 jobs and 500 family members will leave London and move to Amsterdam, with staffers needing to choose between staying in the UK or making the move to the Netherlands. The local press sees the economic benefits but doubts the capacity of Amsterdam to welcome hundreds of EMA employees and their families. Many expats are expected to move a.o. to Haarlem and Haarlemmermeer.

The European Union’s EMA will formally leave London, United Kingdom beginning in March 2019 because of the Brexit.

Each EU nation’s representative was allowed to rank candidate cities from first to third, with three points for each first place vote.  After three rounds of voting, the Dutch capital was tied with Milan resulting in the drawing of lots to finally become the new residence of the EMA on Monday in Brussels.

Other first round vote recipients included Bratislava (15), Barcelona (13), Stockholm (12), Athens (10), Porto (10), Bucharest (7), Warsaw (7), Brussels (5), Helsinki (5), Vienna (4), Bonn (3), Lille (3), Sofia (3).

Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Milan, and Vienna were the preferred relocation choices, according to a survey of EMA staff published in October. Roughly 65 percent of the staff is expected to remain.


Is Amsterdam able to manage hundreds of EMA employees and their families?

The Dutch newspapers, like Volksrant, mention the evident economic benefits for the Netherlands and the MRA (Metropole Region of Amsterdam, including Haarlem and Haarlemmermeer) but also express their concern about the capacity of Amsterdam to welcome the hundreds of EMA employees and their families. For instance in provinding housing and education at international schools. The capital will become even more crowded.


Expats to Haarlem & Haarlemmermeer

Udo Kock, D66-wethouder Finances in Amsterdam thinks that the physical impact will not be that hard. ‘The arrival of the EMA is good news for the whole Metropole Region of Amsterdam. Employees and their families can move to Amsterdam but also to Amstelveen, Haarlem, het Gooi, Leiden en Hilversum’.


EMA in figures

900 employyes from 30 countries
36 thousend visitors
300 million euro year budget
30 thousend hotel night bookings
500 to 600 meetings
80 percent of the EMA staff has chosen Amsterdam as favorite city.



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