History of Sweden and NATO
Relations between Sweden and NATO date back to 1994 when Sweden joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP). Since then, Sweden has gradually increased its cooperation with NATO, including by being an Enhanced Opportunities Partner. Sweden has taken part in several military operations and also has a Host Nation Support Agreement with NATO. On 18 May 2022, Sweden submitted its application for NATO membership. When all NATO member countries signed Sweden’s accession protocol, Sweden gained Invitee status.
You can read more about Sweden’s current Invitee status and becoming a member of NATO on the page Sweden’s road to NATO membership.
- In 1994, Sweden joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP). The PfP aims to build trust and facilitate cooperation between NATO and individual non-member countries in the Euro-Atlantic area. In 1997, Sweden also became a member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, which is a forum for political dialogue between all NATO members and partner countries in the Euro-Atlantic area. The political dialogue in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership complements the more practical cooperation between NATO and partner countries that takes place in the PfP.
- Since the 1990s, the Swedish Armed Forces has increased its capability to cooperate with NATO. The aim of the close cooperation with NATO is to increase the opportunities for Sweden and NATO to act together in a situation of crisis and, ultimately, one of war. Through participation in NATO-led operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq, the Swedish Armed Forces has also adapted to NATO’s military standards and developed interoperability. Sweden has taken part in NATO training and exercises within the framework of partnership with NATO. Sweden has also hosted NATO-led courses and exercises, and cooperates with NATO in standardisation and capability development.
- Sweden’s first Ambassador to NATO was appointed in 1998.
- Sweden has had its own Delegation to NATO Headquarters in Brussels since 2008. Sweden’s Delegation to NATO is led by Sweden’s Ambassador to NATO. The staff at the delegation to NATO consists of posted officials from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence and the Swedish Armed Forces. Sweden has participated in NATO’s most advanced exercises, where NATO countries train collective defence, since 2013.
- Since 2014, Sweden has had a tailor-made partnership with NATO with the status of Enhanced Opportunities Partner (EOP), together with Finland and other countries. EOP is a framework for a tailor-made partnership with focus on political dialogue, training and sharing information. This partnership means that Sweden has deepened its cooperation with NATO.
- Sweden signed a Host Nation Support Agreement with NATO in 2016. This Agreement allows Sweden to better be able to efficiently provide and receive military support from NATO in the event of crisis or war. Host Nation Support includes both military and civilian support and practical and logistical arrangements so that foreign units are able to act and carry out their duties on Swedish territory. Effective Host Nation Support also makes it easier for Sweden to act as the host country for international exercises.
- On 18 May 2022, Sweden submitted its application for NATO membership.
- On 5 July 2022, all NATO member countries signed the Accession Protocol for Sweden. Until all NATO countries have ratified Sweden’s application for NATO membership, it has the status of invitee country. Read more about Sweden’s current Invitee status and becoming a member of NATO on the page Sweden’s road to NATO membership.