The European Medicines Agency will have to leave London when the UK pulls out of the single market
Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has appointed former European Court of Justice judge Enzo Moavero to oversee a team of diplomats whose brief is to persuade organisations to choose Italy if they have to relocate to the continent once the UK cuts ties with the European Union.
The first target is the European Medicines Agency (EMA), according to the Telegraph.
Former European Court of Justice judge Enzo Moavero will be trying to bring the EMA to Milan
The EMA has been based in London since its launch in 1995 and is responsible for the protection of public and animal health through the scientific evaluation and supervision of medicines for sale within the single market.
Brexit means its inevitable departure and as many as 21 EU member states have expressed an interest in becoming its new home.
Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden’s capital cities are among those most keen to welcome the organisation which has an annual budget if £273 million and has around 900 highly-skilled employees in its payroll.
Italy want to bring the EMA to Milan
But Mr Geniloni hopes Mr Moavero’s links with Brussels powerbrokers will be able to persuade the European Council to chose Milan as the EMA’s new host city.
Mr Moavero spent 20 years at the European Commission and rose to the rank of deputy secretary-general. He also served has former PM Mario Monti’s minister of European Affairs.
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Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni
Brexit day: images from around the country as Britain invokes Article 50
Mon, April 3, 2017
The country reacts as Theresa May officially invokes Article 50, and begins the process of Britain leaving the European Union
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Pro-EU demonstrators protest outside Parliament
Italy is the second largest manufacturer of medical products in the EU and is already home to the European Food Safety Authority.
But the choice of new home is out of the EMA’s hands with the final decision resting with the remaining 27 EU member states.
Mr Gentiloni hopes a successful bid to bring the EMA to Milan would persuade other European agencies and institutions to follow suit and consider relocating in Italy’s business capital.