It's probably never felt nicer to leave a year behind as when we said goodbye to 2020 on New Year's Eve. It was great to turn the page and now I'm longing for spring, warm weather and vaccine. I long to meet my parents and I long for my husband's family and friends who live in Scotland and England. We haven't met since the autumn of 2019. Before all the rules and recommendations due to Corona and Brexit, it was easy to have family in two countries. Now it has become a challenge.

When I was a university economics student in the mid-1990s, I was deeply involved in what was then called the EC issue, whether Sweden would become a full member of the EU. My commitment arose after a year in Holland as an exchange student and during the time I lived in London. For me, it was important that Swedish citizens would also be covered by the Maastricht Treaty, that it would be easy to shop, travel and, above all, move between the countries of Europe. That we Swedes would have the same opportunities as my friends in England and Holland. And it happened! In 1995, Sweden became a full member after an exciting referendum in which 52.3% of the population voted yes to the EU.

Now, during the pandemic, we can see that the simplicity of moving between countries in Europe has become more difficult, that the impact on business is considerable, as it is for us individuals.

The maritime industry, as well as the service industry in Europe, has been dependent on migrant labor for decades. How the restrictions will affect peoples’ mobility and ability to move between countries in the future is something we do not really know, but some rough trends can be discerned.

Hygiene and protective equipment will continue to be important; we will continue to focus on health and our own well-being, both physically and mentally. We will have a higher awareness of choosing green alternatives, and the expectations of us as employers are that we will take greater ethical and more sustainable responsibilities.

Ethical leadership with a clear moral compass guiding our decisions is something that will become increasingly important. At Stena, we already have clear guidance from the White Book and the Code of Conduct.

Working remotely will remain even after the pandemic, but not for everyone and perhaps not for every working day. Our personal well-being will to a greater extent guide us in how and where we work.

This year has begun with Brexit and a pandemic that continues. It produces a feeling of melancholy and concern for the health of our loved ones. But regardless of the fact that travel has become more difficult and borders have been closed, I still see myself as a proud European. Our cultural differences enrich us and are also what makes Stena such an exciting workplace that I am proud to be a part of. Our employees who meet our guests in daily operations are my heroes.

I’m now looking forward to spring, warm weather and vaccine.

Take care and stay safe.

Margareta Jensen Dickson

Head of People, Stena Line


Stena AB

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