Analysis: Copenhagen and Paris in lead for EMA relocation

High quality of life and research cluster scores push Danish capital to the top

According to a new analysis report compiled by the Dutch service company KPMG on behalf of the Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk, Copenhagen is right up there when it comes to taking over hosting the European Medicines Agency (EMA), when it eventually relocates from London in the wake of Brexit.

The report (here in English) compared the location benefits of the 16 cities vying to be the new EMA home based on a number of parameters – such as life science clusters, research environment, connectivity, quality of life and political stability – and ranked Copenhagen second just behind Paris.

“By comparing and ranking the 16 candidate cities based on the five parameters discussed above, six cities emerged as the most capable of hosting an organisation of the size and significance of EMA,” the report found.

“Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Munich, Amsterdam and Berlin all offer good to excellent working conditions for EMA staff. In addition, they are very pleasant places in which to live, with high quality education for children, as well as plentiful and attractive work opportunities for spouses.”

Out of a maximum of 80 points, Copenhagen scored 62, just one point behind Paris, while Stockholm came joint third with Munich with 57. Amsterdam completed the top five with 56, while Berlin (55), Vienna (52), Lyon (52) and Bonn (50) rounded up the top nine.

READ MORE: Artfully thrifty: Let the battle begin between the EU member states vying for EMA

Quality life and research
Copenhagen scored the highest in the ‘Research & Scientific Environment’ and ‘Quality of Life’ parameters, second-highest in the’ Dynamic and Size of Life Sciences Cluster’ parameter, but failed to secure top spot as it scored four fewer points than Paris in the ‘Connectivity/Infrastructure’ parameter.

Perhaps a plus for Copenhagen was that the report didn’t factor in the universities, research clusters and pharmaceutical companies situated across the Øresund Bridge in Scania, southern Sweden.

Another positive instance for the Danes is perhaps that France already hosts four decentralised EU agencies, two of which are in Paris – the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) – while Denmark is the home of only one: the European Environment Agency (EEA).