Swedish–Norwegian Defence Cooperation: New opportunities?

NUPI Policy Brief
The Nordic countries
Written by

Maren Garberg Bredesen

Former employee


Swedish–Norwegian defence cooperation has encountered rough seas in recent years, but now seems to have entered smoother waters. This is due to both push and pull factors: push because the new security environment has increased the likelihood of a crisis in the Nordic/Baltic region, which would probably involve all Nordic states, irrespective of NATO or EU membership. Pull because of the renewed US engagement in the region, because of the EU incentives for industrial defence cooperation – and because geographical proximity in itself creates possibilities for shared solutions and practices. This Policy Brief focuses on Swedish–Norwegian defence cooperation in the broader Nordic/Baltic context. We begin by reviewing recent developments in Swedish defence policies, and the implications of previous failed joint Swedish–Norwegian projects. We then turn to opportunities that may emerge as a result of the mentioned push and pull factors. These opportunities are to be considered as ideas; they have not been thoroughly discussed and assessed, but may serve as starting points for follow-on debates and explorations.