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Historical relations between Sweden and NATO


Relations between Sweden and NATO date back to 1994 when Sweden joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP). Since then, Sweden’s cooperation with NATO has gradually increased. On 18 May 2022, Sweden submitted its application for NATO membership, and on 7 March 2024, Sweden became a full member of NATO.

Sweden’s accession to NATO

On 7 March 2024, Sweden’s instrument of accession was deposited with the United States Government, as depositary of the North Atlantic Treaty, and Sweden became a NATO member.

On 11 March 2024, Sweden’s flag was raised at NATO headquarters in Brussels. 

Speech: Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson's speech at ceremony in Brussels to mark Sweden joining NATO

On 18 March 2024, Sweden’s NATO membership was highlighted in ceremonies at the Riksdag and Karlberg Palace.

Press release: Sweden’s NATO membership highlighted in Stockholm

On 20 March 2024, Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström presented the Statement of Government Policy Following Sweden’s Accession to NATO in the Riksdag.

Sweden’s path to membership

  • 16 May 2022: The Government, with broad support in the Riksdag, decides to apply for NATO membership.
  • 18 May 2022: Sweden submits it application for NATO membership.
  • 5 July–27 September 2022: 28 of NATO’s 30 member countries ratify Sweden’s accession protocol in their national parliaments. Only Türkiye and Hungary remain.
  • 5 October 2022: The memorandum on Sweden’s NATO membership is circulated for comment, and relevant stakeholders and the general public in Sweden have the opportunity to express their views.
  • 26 October 2022: The Government appoints an inquiry to review certain legal issues ahead of Sweden’s NATO membership: Inquiry on legal issues ahead of Sweden’s NATO membership (in Swedish)
  • 7 March 2023: The Government adopts the bill on Sweden’s NATO membership.
  • 8 March 2023: The Government presents the bill on Sweden’s NATO membership to the Riksdag: Government has presented the bill on Sweden’s NATO membership to the Riksdag (in Swedish)
  • 22 March 2023: The Riksdag approves Sweden’s accession to NATO.
  • 25 January 2024: Türkiye ratifies Sweden’s accession protocol.
  • 5 March 2024: Hungary ratifies Sweden’s accession protocol.
  • 7 March 2024: Sweden becomes a full member of NATO.

Historical relations between Sweden and NATO before the membership process was initiated 

In 1994, Sweden joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP). The purpose of the PfP is to build trust and facilitate cooperation between NATO and individual non-member countries in the Euro-Atlantic area. In 1997, Sweden also became a member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, which is a forum for political dialogue between all NATO members and partner countries in the Euro-Atlantic area. The political dialogue in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership complements the more practical cooperation between NATO and partner countries in the PfP.

Since the 1990s, the Swedish Armed Forces have enhanced their capability to cooperate with NATO. The aim of this close cooperation with NATO is to improve the ability of Sweden and NATO to act jointly in a crisis situation, ultimately in war. Through participation in NATO-led operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq, the Swedish Armed Forces have also adapted to NATO’s military standards.

Sweden has taken part in NATO training and exercises within the framework of partnership with NATO. Sweden has also hosted NATO-led training and exercises, and cooperates with NATO on standardisation and capability development. Since 2013, Sweden has participated in NATO’s most advanced exercises, where NATO Allies train collective defence.

In 2014, Sweden entered into a tailor-made partnership with NATO with the status of Enhanced Opportunities Partner, together with Finland and other countries. This type of partnership is focused on political dialogue, training and exercises, and sharing information. The partnership deepened Sweden’s cooperation with NATO.

Sweden signed a Host Nation Support Agreement with NATO in 2016. This Agreement better enables Sweden to efficiently provide and receive military support from NATO in the event of crisis or war. Host Nation Support comprises both civilian and military support, and practical and logistical arrangements. The aim is to enable foreign military forces to operate and carry out assignments on Swedish territory. Effective Host Nation Support also makes it easier for Sweden to act as a host country for international exercises.

In 1998, Sweden appointed its first Ambassador to NATO. In 2008, Sweden's Delegation to NATO Headquarters in Brussels was established, led by the Ambassador. When Sweden became a full member of NATO in March 2024, the delegation became a representation. The staff at the Permanent Representation of Sweden to NATO consists of posted officials from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence and the Swedish Armed Forces.