Press Release

Minister for Health Simon Harris says Dublin is the perfect new home for the European Medicines Agency

Ireland submits its bid to relocate the European Medicines Agency from London to Dublin

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said that Dublin is the perfect new home for the European Medicines Agency. Ireland has now submitted its formal bid to relocate the EMA from London to Dublin. The UK’s decision to leave the EU means that the Agency will have to move as a result of Brexit.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said, “The European Union must now ensure that a sustainable solution is found for the European Medicines Agency, and that any loss of expertise or disruption to its operations is minimised.  We must ensure that European citizens are protected. The Irish Government firmly believes that relocation to Dublin will lead to the best outcomes for the Agency, its staff, stakeholders and, most importantly, the citizens of Europe.”

Minister Harris went on to say that “maximising staff retention and continuing to attract the best expertise to the EMA are vital to the future of the Agency. Moving the EMA to a neighbouring country, where English is the main language, is the least disruptive option for London-based staff. Dublin also offers the option to commute if families of EMA staff wish to remain in London for a period after Brexit. Quality of life in Dublin is excellent. It is a safe, tolerant, multicultural city with a vibrant cultural and social life. Dublin is already home to citizens from across Europe and is experienced in integrating large, multinational workforces into the local community.”

Minister Harris said, “The Government is satisfied that the Irish offer to host the EMA fully meets all the stated criteria and we are fully committed to ensuring that the EMA can continue to deliver, without interruption, an excellent service to citizens and industry in a post-Brexit Europe. We firmly believe that a move to Dublin will ensure that European citizens can continue to have access to safe, innovative medicines, and that the EMA retains its reputation for excellence in the global regulatory system.”

As part of its offer, the Irish Government has undertaken to contract the services of relocation experts to assist EMA staff and their families to transition from London to Dublin. Three buildings have been identified from which the EMA may select its preferred option for a new headquarters. Conscious of the significant costs which Brexit will incur for the EMA and the European Commission, Ireland has committed to providing a substantial financial contribution over the next decade. The Irish Government will make a total contribution of €78m over a ten-year period toward the expenses related to a new premises. This will be a contribution in year one of the transition (2019) of €15m towards the cost of fit-out/rent of the selected premises and from year two to year 10 (2020-2028), an annual contribution of €7 million per annum towards rent and maintenance.

Key to the Irish offer is the whole-of-government commitment to ensuring that the EMA can relocate to its new home and carry out its functions from day one. Therefore, if Ireland is selected, the Government will establish a Transition Taskforce to work with the EMA to plan, manage and implement the relocation.

Further Information

Ireland’s EMA Bid can be found at

A video on Ireland’s EMA bid can be viewed at

Further information can also be found on the official website and Twitter account: @dublinforema

The procedure for relocating EU agencies currently based in the UK was agreed by the European Council in June – A decision on a new home for the EMA is expected to be made at the General Affairs Council in November.

The European Medicines Agency: A well-established agency of the EU protecting human and animal health for all EU citizens: