Why Sweden wants to take this EU agency from the UK

Why Sweden wants to take this EU agency from the UK
The EMA is currently based in London's Canary Wharf. Photo: Matt Dunham/AP/TT
Sweden has entered the race to succeed the United Kingdom as the host of the European Union’s medicines agency in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.

The European Medicines Agency is in charge of approving drugs in the union. The bloc’s medical watchdog is currently headquartered in London’s Canary Wharf, and employs 890 people.

The Swedish government now wants to convince the EU to move it to the Scandinavian nation once the UK eventually departs, Sveriges Radio radio show Ekot reports.

“It would mean a lot for Swedish scientific research in medicine, appeal to a lot of companies and provide a great deal of capital for research and development,” former EMA director Thomas Lönngren told Ekot.

Several other countries like Italy, Germany, France and Denmark are also interested in taking over the EMA.

And the fact that Sweden already hosts the EU’s disease authority, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, could be an obstacle.

“Many countries have no EU agencies based there at all, so the odds may not be the best,” Lönngren admitted.

It is currently unclear whether the EMA will move once the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU is complete.