Swedish politicians want Nordic cooperation on civil defence

Swedish DefenseThe Swedish Defense.Photo: Henrik Montgomery / NTB scanpix

Sweden plans are afoot to build a civil defence system in cooperation with Norway and Finland, reported Dagens Nyheter newspaper.


The parties in the Swedish parliament are in favour of a common Nordic civil defence system. In the draft of a new, long-term plan for the Swedish defence, they outlined how this will be built up to handle war, and crisis.

The so-called ‘defence preparation’ was laid out after Dagens Nyheter talked to the government in Sweden on Wednesday. The previous long-term plan was adopted in 2015, and the next will be adopted in 2020, and apply for the years up to and including 2026.

The ice Cold War

During the Cold War, neutral Sweden built a comprehensive civil defence system, with refuge rooms, gas masks,rescue services, field hospitals, and large stocks of food, fuel, and various metals.

Finland copied this system, and retained it after the end of the Cold War, while Sweden discontinued its civil defence.

When the Finns build houses today, it is common to build saunas as a shelter, wrote Dagens Nyheter.


Swedish politicians now think that cooperation on civil defence should be established, primarily with Finland.

‘It is possible to think deeply about bilateral cooperation on support and delivery of security, issues relating to the protection of the population, repair, operation and maintenance of critical infrastructure, hospital resources, and supply of medicines, as well as joint preparations for evacuation,’ said Björn von Sydow, who has led the work of the plan in parliament.

He believes Norway, a NATO country, should participate in the cooperation.

‘Cooperation is very natural, as our three countries have a coherent system of import and supply. Probably,Also when it comes to dealing with refugees in the event of war, and also health services’, said von Sydow.

Frosty period

Such cooperation could mark a fresh start. Dagens Nyheter denoted a frosty period at the political level between Sweden and Norway in defence matters.

This occurred since Norway did not buy Gripen aircraft, and broke out of the Archer joint artillery project. A certain solution to these problems has been found, and the countries now have defence agreements with each other, wrote the newspaper.

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today