Finland and Helsinki, in particular, have lobbied fiercely in recent weeks and months to convince the European Union to re-locate one of its largest agencies, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), to Helsinki.
The Finnish capital, however, is an unlikely destination for the agency – at least if the roughly 900 people it employs have any say in the matter.
EMA on Tuesday published its comments on the 19 bids to host its headquarters, which is is to be moved out of London due to the United Kingdom’s impending withdrawal from the European Union. EUobserver reported that the comments were accompanied with the results of an internal survey, indicating that more than 70 per cent of the agency’s employees would rather resign than relocate to Helsinki.
Similarly unpopular relocation destinations were Athens (GRC), Bratislava (SVK), Bucharest (ROU), Malta (MLT), Sofia (BGR), Warsaw (POL) and Zagreb (HRV).
Amsterdam (NLD), Barcelona (ESP), Copenhagen (DNK), Milan (ITA) and Vienna (AUT), in contrast, were the most popular destinations, with over 65 per cent of the employees voicing their willingness to move with the agency.
Both STT and Helsingin Sanomat have written about the results of the survey in Finland.
EMA also revealed that a number of the cities vying for its headquarters failed to meet the rigid relocation requirements.
Bratislava, Lille (FRA), Malta, Sofia and Zagreb, for example, did not offer sufficient accessibility, whereas Bratislava, Bucharest, Helsinki and Warsaw did not offer sufficient access to health care and social security for the staff and their family members.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva