SWOT Analysis of the Copenhagen Bid for the European Medicines Agency


Copenhagen is a significant contender to host the European Medicines Agency.  In this blog post we look at Copenhagen and carry out a brief SWOT analysis of its capacity to host the EMA.

In the second of our SWOT analysis pieces in our Brexit series, we look at Copenhagen’s capacity to host the European Medicines Agency.

Denmark must be seen as one of the leading contenders in the competition to host the EMA.  The Scandinavian country is frequently cited in studies highlighting quality of life, healthcare systems, educational standards and public services.  Furthermore, it has a significant life sciences sector and it is home to companies such as Novo Nordisk, LEO Pharma and many others.

Copenhagen’s strengths are manifold and include:

Sufficient hotel and living accommodation unlike other city competitors.  The Danish capital already hosts 1,400 United Nations staff in the city.  Copenhagen definitely has the capacity to host the EMA.

Copenhagen has an excellent infrastructure.  It boasts a city airport that flies to over 150 destinations, a 24/7 metro system with new lines yet to come and an excellent road, rail and bike network that ticks most, if not all, of the requisite boxes.

Denmark is a world leader in private investment in pharmaceutical development.  It is first among European peers in terms of private investment in pharma research (per capita).

The official Copenhagen pitch, known as EMA 2 CPH, is one of the most impressive of the competing states. Click here to read the application.

SWOT Analysis of Denmark’s Bid for the European Medicines Agency

The cost of living in Copenhagen and elsewhere in Denmark is very expensive compared to many other of the competing cities and countries.  Food is expensive, entertainment is expensive and excellent public services have to be funded by higher than European average taxes.  The taxation structure might prove to be a deterrent for relocating EMA staff.

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There are opportunities

Denmark promotes itself as being at the centre of modern Europe. and, if that is the case, it is perfectly positioned to attract inward investment for its life science sector should the EMA relocate to Copenhagen.

There are threats

The ‘who will pay?’ issue hangs over each of the competing cities much like Damocles sword.  There is speculation in some quarters that the successful host city will have to foot the bill for the EMA breaking its rent agreement at Churchill Place in London.

In short, the home country to Lundbeck, Santaris Pharma, Novo Nordisk and others is a serious contender to act as a host nation.  It is impossible to see how it will not be in the final set of cities competing to host the agency.

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