Giuseppe Sala, the mayor of Milan, said that Italy would lodge an appeal Tuesday against the decision to relocate the European Medicines Agency to Amsterdam, which doesn’t have an appropriate temporary building ready to house it.
Speaking on Italian radio RTL, Sala said he spoke to Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and told him this was the moment to be aggressive.
“This situation risks becoming a bit ridiculous: first they invent this [procedure of drawing] lots, and then the Dutch start saying they are not ready, then they are giving a venue that is only half [of the current space of the agency],” Sala said. “It’s not a good moment for Europe,” he said.
The Italian government’s move was sparked by the EMA Executive Director Guido Rasi saying on Monday that the temporary building to host the agency in Amsterdam until the permanent one is ready is not optimal.
Sala acknowledged that the chances of overturning the decision to send the EMA to Amsterdam were “not very high, but we need to try it.” The appeal, which Italian media expect to be sent to the European Court of Justice, is both a technical and a political issue, Sala said.
The ECJ said it had not received any such appeal by 2 p.m.
Sarah Wheaton, Jacopo Barigazzi and Giulia Paravicini contributed to this report.