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International Defence Cooperation - Efficiency, Solidarity, Sovereignty Reference No.: Fö 2013:B

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The overall conclusion of this Inquiry is that no part of our international defence cooperation can, under the present conditions, offer the kind of increases in effectiveness or capabilityraising effects that would have a decisive impact on Sweden’s defence economy or defence capability.

A great deal of important and constructive work has gone into new forms of cooperation, and many positive results have been achieved. Thanks to international cooperation, effectiveness has been increased and savings made,and it has been possible to retain certain capabilities that otherwise might have disappeared. But in the broader scheme of things the effects remain marginal, in the sense that they do not alter the overall picture of the fundamental problem of the gap between the tasks of the Swedish Armed Forces and their capabilities.

For Sweden, the restrictions imposed by consideration for sovereignty and the national freedom of action limit the possibilities to deepen defence cooperation. At the same time, they also considerably and fundamentally limit the effectiveness of our international defence cooperation. This extensive cooperation, in combination with our own declaration of solidarity, brings us so close to NATO that we cannot really avoid being identified with the Alliance – yet without enjoying either the effects of cooperation or the joint protection that would be offered by membership.

It is this growing incompatibility between the three fundamental dimensions of Swedish defence cooperation – effectiveness, solidarity and sovereignty – that motivates a review of the policy currently being pursued. An objective and interest-based examination of what NATO membership would mean for Sweden should therefore be undertaken. For a number of reasons, it would be advantageous if such a study were carried out together with Finland.