Between 9 and 10 April a Nordic defence ministerial meeting was held on Gotland as part of Sweden’s Chairmanship of NORDEFCO in 2019. During the meeting, issues such as total defence, regional security, exercise cooperation and the follow-up of the political vision for the Nordic defence cooperation were discussed. In conjunction to the meeting Finland, Norway and Sweden signed an annex concerning security of supply, which constitutes a part of a wider Nordic defence materiel cooperation agreement. At the same time, Denmark declared its intent to sign the annex at a later stage.
There is a broad political consensus in Sweden to further deepen and broaden Nordic defence cooperation, with the aim of strengthening Sweden’s military capabilities and improving the security situation in our vicinity.
Denmark’s Minister of Defence Claus Hjort Frederiksen, Norway’s Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen, Permanent Secretary at Finland’s Ministry of Defence Jukka Juusti and Director General of the Defence Directorate at Iceland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs Arnór Sigurjónsson attended the meeting on Gotland.
During the meeting, ongoing joint projects within NORDEFCO were discussed, including regional security, potential cooperation on total defence issues, Nordic armaments cooperation and the follow-up of the political vision for the Nordic defence cooperation that was adopted last year.
A part of the meeting was held at the Gotland Regiment, were the focus was discussions and briefings on total defence issues. The Gotland County Administrative Board and the Swedish Armed Forces was present to update the ministers on the ongoing work with developing the total defence system on Gotland.
At the defence ministerial meeting in Oslo on the 13 November 2018, the Nordic defence ministers agreed on a new vision for Nordic defence cooperation that covers the period up until 2025. The vision states that Nordic defence cooperation should cover activities in peacetime, as well as cooperation in potential crisis or conflict situations.
Sweden holds the Chairmanship of NORDEFCO in 2019 and one of the priorities is to start implementing the vision. The Nordic countries have for example taken the initiative to strengthen NORDEFCO as a platform for consultation and crisis management. An initial step is the development of mechanisms and guidelines for consultation between the Nordic countries in the event of a potential crisis or conflict.
Signing of annex concerning security of supply
Sweden, Finland and Norway have negotiated an agreement on security of supply for the defense area. The agreement is an addition to the Nordic defence material cooperation agreement that was signed in 2015.
The agreement serves as a framework for cooperation on security of supply issues and will contribute to increased coordination between defense industries in the Nordic countries and facilitate the exchange of information.
The agreement also provides for more efficient use of resources during peacetime and, in the event of a potential crisis or conflict, strengthened endurance and safer stocking.