Political Bargaining Intensifies In Final Days Before Vote On EMA’s New Home
In the run-up to next Monday’s vote on the EMA’s future home, political horse-trading and vote-swapping behind the scenes makes it difficult to predict which EU city will win the prized agency.
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The EMA has published its analysis of the 19 bids to host the agency post-Brexit, which confirms reports that five cities – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Milan and Vienna – would bring the best result in terms of retaining staff when it relocates. The agency has expressed concern that low retention rates could hit operations and result in lower fee income, requiring an injection of cash from the EU budget.
The European Medicines Agency says it could lose more than 70% of its staff if it moves to one of the cities least favored by current employees. In the worst-case scenario, the EMA says it would be unable to operate and that the regulatory system would “unravel.”
Hungary is going its own way when it comes to coronavirus vaccines, but its decision to allow the emergency use of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine may be only a symbolic expression of the government’s growing impatience with the EU.