Italy to ask EU to reconsider Milan for drugs agency headquarters

ROME (Reuters) - Italy will ask European authorities to reconsider whether the European Medicines Authority (EMA) could be moved to Milan after Brexit, in light of concerns about its planned move to Amsterdam, an Italian government source said on Monday.

Milan lost out when the new destination for the authority, which must leave its current home in London when Britain leaves the European Union, was decided by drawing lots in November.

But in light of concerns raised by Executive Director Guido Rasi on Monday about the temporary space available in Amsterdam, Italy would try again for the chance to host the agency, the source said.

“The government will take all appropriate action with the European Commission and the relevant authorities to make sure that ... the decision by which Milan lost out at the draw is (reconsidered),” he said.

Rasi said his organization had little choice other than to accept a temporary Amsterdam base with half the space of its London offices as it rushes to relocate ahead of Britain’s March 2019 exit from the EU.

The Dutch health ministry specified in a separate statement EMA will occupy the “Spark” building in western Amsterdam during 2019, ahead of the scheduled completion of a new, building to house the EMA in south Amsterdam starting in 2020.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer and Toby Sterling; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg