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New survey from SwedenBIO: What EMA personnel can expect of life in Stockholm


Due to the upcoming vote on where the new EMA office will be located SwedenBIO asked some of  their international industry colleagues to share their personal experiences of what it is like to live and work in Sweden.

On November 20th it is time for the EU ministers to decide and vote where the new EMA headquarters will be located. Due to United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union the Agency will relocate from its present location in London and 19 cities, among them Stockholm/Uppsala, Copenhagen and Helsinki, are hoping to take over.

According to Politico Europe a survey has been made among the 900 employees at EMA, showing that nine out of ten rather quit than move to Warszawa, Bukarest or Sofia. The most popular cities among the employees were Amsterdam, Barcelona and Vienna. There are no details about how they look upon a move to Stockholm, Copenhagen or Helsinki.


As a reaction to this ongoing debate and the media reports, SwedenBIO, a national non-profit association for the life science industry in Sweden, has asked some of their international industry colleagues to share their personal experiences of what it is like to live and work in Sweden. And the results are very positive.

A professional research climate and an entrepreneurial spirit

“Sweden is ready to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in Stockholm. Sweden can offer a seamless transition – but what can EMA personnel expect of life in Stockholm?” asked the organization and has now published interviews with key persons within life science and drug development. And they embrace Sweden as a country with a professional research climate and an entrepreneurial spirit. They are also highlight the Swedish society because it provides substantial possibilities to combine a career with having a family.

“These are colleauges that have broad experience and who has lived in many different countries. Being able to recruit international experts is critical in order for our industry to thrive and develop. We wanted to highlight the many advantages Sweden possesses,” says Jonas Ekstrand, CEO SwedenBIO.

Ekstrand is also critical about where the discussions are heading. “In the end this is about making sure that patients have access to adequate treatment rather than discussing details about facilities and such things. Sweden has what EMA needs today but also what EMA needs to develop, which is why everybody would benefit from having the agency here.”

The key to worklife balance

Some of the answers highlighted by SwedenBIO are:

”Here I can be the CEO of a company, and still have time for my family”
Christine Lind, CEO Medivir

”Sweden is a non-hierarchical society which emphasises democratic collaboration”
Susanna Francke Rodau, Director Healthcare Development, Roche Diagnostics Scandinavia

”Swedish people have found the key to worklife balance”
Marc Gailhardou, Managing Director of MSD (Merck Sharp and Dohme)

”Sweden and Swedes are very open and welcoming”
Maciej Dragowski, leading the Finance team at Roche Sweden

”Here you can have a healthy lifestyle, which allows you to follow your aspirations”
Persefoni Kritikou, Global Health Economics Manager, Sobi

Read all the interview here:

Photo of Jonas Ekstrand: Mikael Wallerstedt