On May 2nd, the Government approved the development of the programme supporting Barcelona's candidacy to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The ultimate goal is to put the Catalan capital in a strong position for consideration as a prospective location for the organisation's new headquarters. The agency is currently located in London but in light of the UK's decision to leave the EU, some of the European institutions located in that country are now looking to relocate to other member states. Given the situation, Barcelona and Catalonia have decided to present their candidacy to host the EMA, the body responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines for the European Union.
The programme which is being developed by the Government of Catalonia includes the creation of a specialist technical office, which will initially be located at the Ministry of Health headquarters and which will be responsible for promoting the application through the development of a working plan divided into two areas of action.
The first will focus on the management of the institutional environment within the framework of the European Union, the pharmaceutical sector and research in order to raise the profile of Catalonia, and of Barcelona in particular, as a prime location for a European institution such as the European Medicines Agency.
A second framework area will include the definition of strategy and the preparation and drafting of the application bid, specifying aspects such as location, mobility, spatial attributes and value-added elements.
In the weekly press briefing, Spokeswoman Neus Munté affirmed that the objective was of the “highest priority because we understand that being the EMA host city is an opportunity for the country both from the economic and a social standpoints”. "We are ready as a city, as a country and as a government to offer this candidacy”, because “we have the expertise and deep knowledge of this sector”, she assured.