CATALUÑA´S referendum on independence is due for October 1, 2017 but may well be hurting Barcelona´s bid for the European Medicines Agency.
The agency is set to move from London following the UK´s announcement of its exit from the EU. A new city will be selected to house it which will receive almost 1,000 senior professionals and is likely to see economic benefit and increased employment.
As a result of this many EU states have announced that they will be bidding for the agency. Barcelona is among the most likely cities to be selected alongside Amsterdam, Bratislava, Copenhagen, Dublin, Milan and Vienna.
However statements from the European Commission have observed that, from a legal standpoint, any territory which declares independence from an EU state will not automatically remain an EU member and the benefits will “no longer apply”. A newly independent Cataluña could apply for membership in an often lengthy process.
According to EU diplomatic sources it is the fear that the agency will have to be moved from Barcelona in the future which could prevent the city being selected at all. The decision will be announced after Cataluña´s referendum in October giving the EU time to consider the result.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has promised that his government will do all they can to support the bid which will, if Barcelona wins, show Cataluña the benefits of EU membership and possibly ease calls for independence.