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This is civil defence


Civil defence encompasses the whole of society and comprises the collective resilience in the event of war or danger of war. Sweden’s resilience is strengthened through the preparedness of individuals, government agencies, municipalities, regions, private companies and non-governmental organisations.

  • Minister for Civil Defence Carl-Oskar Bohlin visiting a 3D printing service with Lena Rådström Baastad, Governor of Örebro County.

    Photo: Tom Samuelsson/Government Offices

  • Cyber defence is an important part of Sweden's total defence. The picture was taken on 21 April 2023, at the world's largest cyber defence exercise Locked Shields. Team Sweden and Iceland won the exercise in 2023.

    Photo: Ola Berglind/Swedish Armed Forces

  • Minister for Health Care Acko Ankarberg Johansson and Minister for Civil Defence Carl-Oskar Bohlin on a visit to Blodcentralen, a blood donation centre in Stockholm. More people need to become blood donors to strengthen preparedness for events with many casualties.

    Photo: Tom Samuelsson/Government Offices

Society must function and the population must be protected

Civil defence is needed to ensure that society can continue to function, even in severely compromised conditions and, ultimately, war. This includes protecting the civilian population and ensuring that the provision of essential goods and services can continue. Civil defence should also support military defence and strengthen the will to defend the country.

Civil defence objective

Direction of the 2020 Defence Resolution

The current development of civil defence is based on the Riksdag’s Defence Resolution from 2020, which in turn is based on the Government Bill Totalförsvaret 2021–2025 (‘Total defence 2021–2025’). Through the Defence Resolution, Sweden’s civil defence will be substantially reinforced.

A few examples:

  • coordinated and coherent planning for the civil and military defence;
  • a new structure for the responsibility, management and coordination of civil defence at central, higher regional, regional and local level;
  • the Psychological Defence Agency has been established;
  • a national cyber security centre (Nationellt cybersäkerhetscenter) has been established;
  • collaboration between the public and private sectors has increased through the appointment of a business sector council for total defence and crisis preparedness (Näringslivsrådet för totalförsvar och krisberedskap);
  • increased funding for voluntary defence organisations; and
  • several inquiries have been appointed in the areas of supply preparedness, the responsibilities of municipalities and regions ahead of and in times of heightened alert, supply of personnel for civil defence and protection of the civilian population.

Priority areas for civil defence

In light of the deteriorating international situation, there is broad political consensus on further strengthening Sweden’s civil defence. The Government’s Budget Bill for 2024 includes the Government’s priorities in this area.

Investments in civil defence and crisis preparedness in the autumn budget

The Ministry of Defence is responsible for the civil defence policy area. Many other ministries, however, also take measures to strengthen civil defence in areas such as energy, health care and culture. 

Civil defence

Everyone is needed and everyone can contribute

Civil defence begins with individual people and their own preparedness. Private individuals can strengthen their preparedness by being ready to go without electricity, access to grocery stores or water for a period of time. The more people who can manage on their own for a while, the better government agencies and organisations can focus on helping those who are in the most difficult situations. Strengthening one’s own preparedness can also involve being aware of influence campaigns and fact-checking sources.

Responsibilities of government agencies

All agencies under the Government should develop good capability to handle their tasks during peacetime crisis situations and states of heightened alert.

There are 61 government agencies that are emergency preparedness authorities of particular importance to society’s civil preparedness. County administrative boards comprise 21 of these agencies. They are divided into six civil areas, and there is an administrative board responsible for each area.

Several of the agencies are part of one or more of 10 identified preparedness sectors. Each sector is led by a responsible agency.

More about civil defence

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) has a particular responsibility for civil defence and provides support to government agencies, organisations, businesses and private individuals.

Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency

The Psychological Defence Agency’s responsibilities include identifying, analysing, preventing and countering foreign malign influence activities directed at Sweden. They also provide support to others’ efforts to counter these activities.

Swedish Psychological Defence Agency

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) strengthens Sweden’s capability to prevent, detect and manage cyber threats. The Centre also provides advice and support on threats, vulnerabilities and risks.

National Cyber Security Centre Sweden (in Swedish)

The Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) strengthens Sweden’s security through activities that build and apply knowledge. The Agency has a theme page with reports on civil defence.

Civil Defence and Emergency Preparedness – Swedish Defence Research Agency

In the event of crises and heightened alert

In the event of accidents, serious events and disruptions to vital societal functions, important messages to the public are broadcast via radio, TV and other channels. Text messages and the outdoor warning system may also be used in certain cases. compiles and conveys information from government agencies and responsible actors to the general public when there are major events. It also has information about more channels and such matters as what happens when important public announcements are broadcast to the public.

Part of total defence

Sweden’s total defence consists of two areas of activity – military defence and civil defence.