Swedish Defence Commission

Updated

The Defence Commission serves as a forum for consultations between the Government and representatives of the political parties represented in the Riksdag. The ambition is to reach a broad consensus on Sweden’s defence and security policy. Drawing in part on the Defence Commission’s reports, the Government will formulate its proposals to be presented to the Riksdag.

The Defence Commission is a body designed to look beyond topical issues. Through its analysis of major changes in international developments, both globally and for relevant regions, and especially developments in Europe and Sweden’s neighbourhood, the Commission can determine what consequences these developments will have for Sweden’s defence. Openness and transparency are key in the Commission’s work and are ensured through open discussions, public meetings and hearings.

On 9 December 2022, the Defence Commission received new instructions regarding its work:

  • The first stage of the Defence Commission’s work is to analyse major global changes in international developments, with particular emphasis on Europe and Sweden’s neighbourhood. Particular attention will be given to experiences from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
  • Taking this as its starting point, the Defence Commission will present its assessment of developments in the world and related consequences for Swedish defence and security policy. The latter includes the consequences of Sweden’s NATO membership and the associated priorities for Sweden as well as a review of the basic premises and objectives of Swedish defence policy.
  • In addition to the above, the Defence Commission will, as set out in the Defence Bill 2020 (Govt Bill 2020/21:30, Committee Report 2020/21:FöU4, Riksdag Communication 2020/21:136), conduct a review evaluating the Defence Bill from 2020. The aim of the review is to ensure that the Defence Bill’s implementation and associated costs are in line with the Riksdag’s decision on its direction and financial framework.
  • The Defence Bill 2020 also sets out that the Government is to present a Budget Bill for 2024 to the Riksdag ensuring that the Defence Bill’s implementation is proceeding as planned. The Government  is also to put forward in its Budget Bill proposals on how to proceed with the planning framework for the period 2026–2030. Prior to this, the Defence Commission will put forward proposals for the planning framework.
  • The Defence Commission submitted a report on Sweden’s security policy on the 19 June 2023. The 19 December 2023 the Defence Commission will submit a report on civil defence, including a proposal for the overall ambition level for Sweden’s total defence. In a final report due on 26 April 2024, the Defence Commission will present proposals on the development of Sweden’s total defence, covering both military and civil defence, as well as financial allocations, for the next Defence Bill period.
  • The second stage of the Defence Commission’s work is to present proposals on the direction and structure of the total defence up to 2030, and in this context also examine the period up to 2035. These proposals will be based on the work carried out in the first stage. The direction of the total defence, as set out in the Defence Bill 2020, will form the basis for these proposals.
  • The additional 17 military defence measures mentioned in the Defence Bill 2020 and the agreement reached on 16 March 2022 pertaining to military and civil defence will be considered in this respect.
  • The Defence Commission will present its final report by 26 April 2024 and is, at this point, free, if necessary, to return to the questions examined during the first stage.

The Defence Commission

The Defence Commission comprises members of the eight parties represented in the Riksdag, advisers and experts, and a secretariat. The Social Democratic Party, the Sweden Democrats and the Moderate Party are represented by two members each, and the other parties are represented by one member each. The advisers and experts represent the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Finance, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Swedish Armed Forces, the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency. The Defence Commission’s secretariat comprises one principal secretary and five secretaries.