Amsterdam to host European Medicines Agency after Brexit, defeating rivals including Sofia

European Union cabinet ministers from 27 member countries – all member states, excluding the UK – decided on November 20 that Amsterdam in the Netherlands will be the new seat of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The EMA headquarters, and that of the European Banking Authority, are being relocated from the UK because of Brexit.

EU rules do not allow one of the bloc’s agencies to be located in a non-member state.

The selection of Amsterdam is a defeat for, among others, Bulgaria’s capital Sofia which bid to host the EMA. An earlier official report found shortcomings in Sofia’s bid.

The selection took place in the margins of the General Affairs Council (Article 50), in accordance with the procedure endorsed by the EU 27 heads of State and Government on June 22 2017.

The EMA is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU. It is essential for the functioning of the single market for medicines in the EU, a statement by the Presidency of the Council of the EU said.

The European Commission will now prepare legislative proposals reflecting the November 20 vote for adoption under the ordinary legislative procedure with the involvement of the European Parliament.

The Council and the Commission are committed to ensuring that these legislative proposals are processed as quickly as possible in view of the urgency of the matter, the EU Presidency said.

(Photo: Lies through a Lens)



Clive Leviev-Sawyer

Clive Leviev-Sawyer is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Sofia Globe. He is the author of the book Bulgaria: Politics and Protests in the 21st Century (Riva Publishers, 2015), and co-author of the book Bulgarian Jews: Living History (The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria 'Shalom', 2018). He is also the author of Power: A Political Novel, available via, and, on the lighter side, Whiskers And Other Short Tales of Cats (2021), also available via Amazon. He has translated books and numerous texts from Bulgarian into English.