Dutch government to foot bill for EMA temporary offices
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), located in London, will make its move across the pond in 2019, and must do so before March 30. Currently, the EMA’s new offices are being built in the Zuidas district of Amsterdam, but will most likely not be finished before November 2019.
Temporary Amsterdam offices
In order to resolve the office situation, the Dutch government will rent the Spark offices situated at Sloterdijk for 11 months, as this will prevent any loss in work continuity. Moreover, the Dutch government will be paying for the offices out of its own pocket.
The situation is not ideal, as the Spark building only provides 50 percent of the necessary space. Therefore, large European meetings will have to be held at a separate location. Nonetheless, the EMA has agreed to relocate to the temporary offices until the 250-300 million euro EMA building is finished in November 2019.
Once the building is completed, the EMA will rent it back. The EMA director, Guido Rasi, said that pressure will be put on the builders so that the new-build is finished on time. Italy is still hopeful that the concerns regarding the available office space in Amsterdam may cause the EMA to revise their decision and relocate to Milan instead.
Accommodating expats in Amsterdam
EMA employees will begin to relocate to Amsterdam in the second half of 2018. The relocation of the entire bureau will be complete by March 30 of 2019. Employees will not only need to be helped in finding properties in the Netherlands, but also with international schools for the some 550 children which will be moving with them.
The metropolitan area in London, where the EMA is currently situated, is much bigger than that of Amsterdam, which stretches from IJmuiden, Amstelveen and Almere to Zaandam. The housing market in Amsterdam is strained. With this in mind, EMA employees may perhaps want to look outside of the city centre. The housing options put forth by Amsterdam reach from Rotterdam to Bergen. Alkmaar may also be an option, as it is only 35 minutes from Amsterdam by train.
Representatives from international schools in the Netherlands have already been to London to speak to EMA employees, and schools such as the European School of Bergen are required to accept EU employee’s children. A help desk has been set up to help the partners of EMA staff to find jobs in the Netherlands and will also provide one-on-one support and sessions about relocation.