The Council of Ministers decided to nominate Sofia for a host of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The application was filed today according to the standards established in the European Union. "This decision reflects Bulgaria's commitment to common European values and fundamental principles as well as the will of our country to continue its constructive contribution to the consolidation of the objectives of European policies, including in the field of public health", stated in an official letter from the Prime Minister Boyko Borissov to the European Council President Donald Tusk and to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The initiative for this step originates from the Bulgarian Industrial Association, which in September 2016, with a letter to the then Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva, suggested that our country should take the necessary steps to move the head office of the European Medicines Agency to Bulgaria. The reason for the proposal is Britain's forthcoming exit from the EU, and currently EMA is headquartered in London.
BIA's letter highlights that the agency employs about 900 people, and many foreign companies are based in London because of its proximity to this European supervisory body. It is logical to expect with the relocation of the agency to deploy the headquarters of the big pharmaceutical companies, which is a serious opportunity for Bulgaria. However, lobbying and action at state and European level will be necessary for this purpose.
In addition, BIA’s letter informs that the Swedish government has already expressed interest in applying for relocating the agency in Stockholm. At the same time, no EU agency has been located in Bulgaria until now, and this is a strong argument for relocating EMA to Bulgarian territory.
In response, Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva informs that she has raised the question of moving EMA to the then Ministers of Health and Foreign Affairs - Petar Moskov and Daniel Mitov. She had stressed the need for active and timely action in this direction. "This is a serious chance for our country for better inclusion and I strongly expect that they will support such an initiative and will take the necessary steps to apply for relocation of the agency to Bulgaria," Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva said in her letter to BIA, adding: "Thank you for the activity in this direction. Your interest and insight with several moves ahead are of great benefit to the business and to us, the politicians. "
Meanwhile, at the European Council meeting on 22.06.2017, European leaders approved a procedure for the relocation of the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority in the context of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the Union.
By the 30th of September, the European Commission will review the applications submitted. The decision to relocate the EMA should be taken in November.