EU agency to have stopgap Amsterdam HQ in Brexit move

EU agency to have stopgap Amsterdam HQ in Brexit move
A model of the new headquarters of the European Medicines Agency, EMA, center, in Amsterdam, is presented during a press conference in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. The Brexit-related relocation of the agency from London to Amsterdam is scheduled for 2019, first to an existing building before moving to the new building to be constructed at Amsterdam's Zuidas business district. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dutch officials say the European Medicines Agency will be housed in temporary accommodation in Amsterdam before a new headquarters is completed for the agency’s relocation from London.

Dutch Health Minister Bruno Bruins announced Monday that the EU agency and its approximately 900 staff initially will be placed in the Sloterdijk neighborhood of western Amsterdam.

The new headquarters is to be built in the Zuidas, or Southern Axis, a neighborhood that straddles the city’s ring road. It is scheduled for completion in November 2019.

EMA Executive Director Guido Rasi described the relocation as the biggest challenge the agency has ever faced.

Amsterdam narrowly beat Milan in a vote for the right to host the agency, which is being moved from London due to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.