Tuesday

18th Sep 2018

Cost of moving EU drug agency could top €580mn

  • The EU medicines agency is located in Canary Wharf, in London's business district (Photo: chas B)

The rent bill the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is stuck with until 2039 is about €80 million higher than initially estimated.

Initially, the sunk rental costs were estimated at €350 million.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

But the EMA put the cost of the early termination of the building lease at €429,302,409 in a presentation to the European Parliament that was given behind closed doors last month.

The presentation has been made available to EUobserver after an access to documents request.

The total cost of the London-based EMA's relocation, which is needed because the UK is leaving the EU, was estimated to be €582.5 million.

This sum has been previously reported, but the presentation gave a detailed break down for the first time.

The bulk of that amount is for the obligations EMA has to its landlord. The rental contract for the building in the Canary Wharf business district in London is valid until 30 June 2039 - 20 years after the expected date for Brexit - and does not have a termination clause.

The figure excluded the cost of dilapidation, but assumed a "worst case scenario", the presentation said.

It added that sub-letting the building can only be done under "strict conditions" and required the landlord's prior consent.

Other costs that the EMA will incur because of the forced post-Brexit relocation included €28 million to pay for staff needed to prepare the move.

The drugs agency is pulling some 43 staff members from their regular jobs to prepare for the relocation.

Staff-related relocation costs, such as travel to the new location, language courses, and "resettlement costs" were put at almost €23 million.

Some €11 million has been estimated for costs related to moving the agency's IT services.

The agency also expected to spend some €833,000 on preparatory missions to the new location, as well as some visits to the European Commission and European Parliament in Brussels to discuss the relocation.

The document noted that until the end of March 2018, it expects to send four staff members to the new host country every month for 12 hours, and to send two staff members every two weeks for two days from 2018 until March 2019.

Another €1 million was foreseen to be spent on "operational missions" to the new location.

Nineteen European cities have applied to host EMA, while another eight cities want to host the European Banking Authority (EBA) - another EU agency that will have to leave London after Brexit.

The presentation called Brexit the "biggest challenge for EMA since its establishment".

It noted that the final "responsibility for bearing the costs of relocating the agency will be decided during the EU/UK negotiations", but added that the actual costs need to be funded before the physical move.

Read more on EU agencies in EUobserver's 2017 Regions & Cities Magazine.

Click here to access EUobserver's entire magazine collection.

EU agency relocation race starts with 23 cities

Cities from 21 countries have applied to host the two London-based EU agencies, which will have to be relocated after Brexit, with Luxembourg throwing its hat in for the banking authority.

Magazine

Lessons learned from EU police academy's soft Brexit

A decision by Theresa May, when she was home secretary, prompted the move of Cepol, the EU's police academy, from Bramshill to Budapest. The decision-making was long, and the move offered some lessons.

News in Brief

  1. EU investigating BMW, Daimler and VW 'collusion'
  2. Spain wants special Gibraltar chapter in Brexit deal
  3. Italy cancels Vienna talks over South Tyrol 'dual citizenship'
  4. Britain will not accept Brexit deal with Irish Sea border
  5. Slovakia seeks witness to journalist killing
  6. Finland's Stubb considers running for EU commission job
  7. Romania ponders anti same-sex marriage referendum
  8. EU lawyers back Slovenia in Croatia border dispute

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  4. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  5. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  6. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  7. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  8. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  9. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  10. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  12. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want

Latest News

  1. EU promotes 'Egypt model' to reduce migrant numbers
  2. Tensions mount over Kosovo-Serbia deal
  3. New book: Why war is coming
  4. EU parliament will not budge on office expenses
  5. Why Orban's project to reshape EU politics will be unsuccessful
  6. 10 years after Lehman Brothers what has changed for EU consumers?
  7. Sefcovic launches bid to be EU Commission president
  8. Is Russia blackmailing the Council of Europe?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us