Around the Globe: Europe

Tribute to Noël Wathion
Emer Cooke
Noel Wathion smiling at the camera
Photo courtesy of EMA website.

oël Wathion worked at EMA from its beginnings in 1996 until just over two years ago and helped shape the agency we know today. At EMA, he was a leader with a very deep sense of commitment to our mission, our staff, European patients, and the network. He stood for everything that is best about EMA and the European Union and had a profound positive impact on both public and animal health in the EU for more than 25 years.

But Noël was much bigger than medicines regulation. As a person, he shaped our culture and our identity in multiple ways. He was a true gentleman and statesman. In our condolence book at EMA, and on our LinkedIn page, hundreds of colleagues and friends have shared their stories of working with him. They talk about his kindness and humor, his dedication, his diplomacy, his moral compass, and his ability to make things happen.

Throughout his distinguished career, Noël cared deeply about people, public health, and the European idea. He was a pioneer in pharmacovigilance, protected regulatory decision making, and pushed our network to be better through advocating for more openness and transparency. We have lost a dear friend and compassionate colleague. Noël was a remarkable figure in the history of EMA and our network of medicines agencies. His legacy will stay with us and speak for itself.

Read the EMA press release about his passing.