Swedish opposition defence strategy


The Swedish parliamentary opposition Social Democrats (SDP) heavily criticised the administration of Prime Minister Frederik Reinfeld for its cuts in defence spending, and announced the drafting of their own defence strategy. The strategy is to serve as the party’s background document on defence policy in the next electoral campaign. The SDP mainly accuses the government of underfunding particular areas of the military in 2012/2013.


The SDP’s strategy mainly builds on additional funding to essential branches and operating units and on enhanced cooperation between the Swedish military and defence industry in the field of research and development. Peter Hultqvist, SDP spokesman on defence and chairman of the National Defence Committee in the Riksdag, Sweden’s parliament, highlighted that spending cuts must not undermine core military capabilities: “We want a defence strategy that gives Sweden the military capability that it needs to have, and a level of funding to ensure that our military can conduct all fundamental tasks with greater certainty over budgeting. The financial framework must be proportionate to the tasks undertaken. We will continue to demand efficiency, but budget and saving processes cannot be implemented without considering the consequences.” The SDP expressed its concern about estimations of Sweden not being able to protect neighbouring countries in the event of hostile attacks. The strategy therefore includes the national and regional context and calls for a strengthening of the Swedish defence structures in cooperation with the country’s Nordic partners and the EU as well as for an increase of support to the domestic defence industry.


Reinforcing the EU drive on defence and security technologies will be discussed at the SDA’s upcoming SecDef conference, with a keynote speech by Michel Barnier, EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Services.