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Divisions behind Barcelona bid for EMA

Spain's crisis with Catalonia impacts on the bid to become the next base for the EU's pharmaceutical watchdog

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Divisions behind Barcelona bid for EMA

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The London-based pharmaceutical watchdog, the European Medicines Agency has to find a new home after Brexit.

Despite the crisis between Madrid and Catalonia, Spain is proposing Barcelona as the agency’s next base.

Health Minister Dolors Montserrat and Catalan health chief Antoni Comin, were in Brussels to promote the Barcelona bid but their differences were soon on show.

“Negotiations with the Spanish government for Catalonia’s independence should include provisions for us to be a member of the European Union ……and as such Barcelona will of course remain eligible to become the next headquarters for the EMA,” said Comin.

Catalans are convinced that they can get the agency, remain in the EU and leave Spain. Health minister Dolors Montserrat thinks differently:

“I want to send a message to Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who has the opportunity to guide Catalonia back onto a legal path . He can begin a dialogue within a legal framework, he can return to the national parliament where we are all represented, every Catalan as well as the rest of the Spanish people, and he can discuss matters as we have always done.”

Barcelona had been thought a good location for the agency, but there are those who are now unsure due to the uncertainty surrounding the city’s future.