Sweden intensifies push to take EU agency from UK post-Brexit

Sweden intensifies push to take EU agency from UK post-Brexit
Stockholm City Hall. Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se
Sweden has stepped up its efforts to take an important EU agency from the UK post-Brexit, launching a new website detailing the reasons why the Stockholm-Uppsala area should be its new location.

Last year The Local reported that Sweden had thrown its hat into the ring to succeed the United Kingdom as the host of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), an EU medical watchdog currently headquartered in London's Canary Wharf that employs around 900 people and is considered a major draw for the pharmaceutical industry.

In January, the Swedish government announced it was going to actively work to bring the agency to the Stockholm-Uppsala region, tasking the Stockholm County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen) with lobbying for the cause.

It was asked by the government to pull together key information on what the EMA could be offered in terms of location, transport links, housing, proximity to medical research and ease of relocation. Now, all of that has been made available to the public through a new English language website.

Launched this week, the EMAtoSweden website features a number of videos promoting the region's scientific and research merits like the Karolinska Institute and Nobel Prizes, cultural assets such as Sweden's famous work-life balance, and logistical factors like competence in English and access to international flights.

It also lists Sweden's high performance in business, employment and gender equality rankings.

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The website has already gained some traction at an international level, with both Sky News political editor Faisal Islam and Politico Europe senior correspondent Ryan Heath sharing it on Twitter.

Sweden's Health Minister Gabriel Wikström visited the EMA base in London last March to find out what the agency thinks is important in picking a new location.