Foreign relations of Sweden

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Coat of arms of Sweden.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Sweden

The foreign policy of Sweden is based on the premise that national security is best served by staying free of alliances in peacetime in order to remain a neutral country in the event of war. In 2002, Sweden revised its security doctrine. The security doctrine still states that "Sweden pursues a policy of non-participation in military alliances," but permits cooperation in response to threats against peace and security. The government also seeks to maintain Sweden's high standard of living. These two objectives require heavy expenditures for social welfare, defense spending at rates considered low by Western European standards (currently around 1.2% of GNP[1]), and close attention to foreign trade opportunities and world economic cooperation.

United Nations[edit]

Sweden has been a member of the United Nations since November 19, 1946, and participates actively in the activities of the organization, including as an elected member of the Security Council (1957–1958, 1975–1976, 1997–1998 and 2017–2018), providing Dag Hammarskjöld as the second elected Secretary-General of the UN, etc. The strong interest of the Swedish Government and people in international cooperation and peacemaking has been supplemented in the early 1980s by renewed attention to Nordic and European security questions.

Sweden decided not to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.[2]

European Union[edit]

After the then Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson had submitted Sweden's application in July 1991 the negotiations began in February 1993. Finally, on January 1, 1995, Sweden became a member of the European Union. While some argued that it went against Sweden's historic policy of neutrality, where Sweden had not joined during the Cold War because it was seen as incompatible with neutrality, others viewed the move as a natural extension of the economic cooperation that had been going on since 1972 with the EU.[citation needed] Sweden addressed this controversy by reserving the right not to participate in any future EU defense alliance. In membership negotiations in 1993–1994, Sweden also had reserved the right to make the final decision on whether to join the third stage of the EMU "in light of continued developments." In a nationwide referendum in November 1994, 52.3 percent of participants voted in favour of EU membership. Voter turnout was high, 83.3 percent of the eligible voters voted. The main Swedish concerns included winning popular support for EU cooperation, EU enlargement, and strengthening the EU in areas such as economic growth, job promotion, and environmental issues.

In polls taken a few years after the referendum, many Swedes indicated that they were unhappy with Sweden's membership in the EU. However, after Sweden successfully hosted its first presidency of the EU in the first half of 2001, most Swedes today have a more positive attitude towards the EU. The government, with the support of the Center Party, decided in spring 1997 to remain outside of the EMU, at least until 2002. A referendum was held on September 14, 2003. The results were 55.9% for no, 42.0% yes and 2.1% giving no answer ("blank vote").

Nordic Council[edit]

Swedish foreign policy has been the result of a wide consensus. Sweden cooperates closely with its Nordic neighbors, formally in economic and social matters through the Nordic Council of Ministers and informally in political matters through direct consultation.

Nonalignment[edit]

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, February 11, 2017

Swedish neutrality and nonalignment policy in peacetime may partly explain how the country could stay out of wars since 1814. Swedish governments have not defined nonalignment as precluding outspoken positions in international affairs. Government leaders have favored national liberation movements that enjoy broad support among developing world countries, with notable attention to Africa. During the Cold War, Sweden was suspicious of the superpowers, which it saw as making decisions affecting small countries without always consulting those countries. With the end of the Cold War, that suspicion has lessened somewhat, although Sweden still chooses to remain nonaligned. Sweden has devoted particular attention to issues of disarmament, arms control, and nuclear nonproliferation and has contributed importantly to UN and other international peacekeeping efforts, including the NATO-led peacekeeping forces in the Balkans. It sat as an observer in the Western European Union from 1995 to 2011, but it is not an active member of NATO's Partnership for Peace and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.

Sweden's engagement with NATO was especially strengthened during the term of Anders Fogh Rasmussen.[3]

Sweden's nonalignment policy has led it to serve as the protecting power for a number of nations who don't have formal diplomatic relations with each other for various reasons. It currently represents the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations in North Korea for consular matters. On several occasions when the United Kingdom broke off relations with Iran (including the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the Salman Rushdie affair, and the 2012 storming of the British embassy in Tehran), Sweden served as the protecting power for the UK.

Military[edit]

Sweden has employed its military on numerous occasions since the end of the Cold War, from Bosnia and Congo to Afghanistan and Libya. According to one study, "this military activism is driven both by the Swedish internationalist tradition of "doing good" in the world, but also for instrumental purposes. These include a desire for political influence in international institutions, an interest in collective milieu shaping, and a concern to improve the interoperability and effectiveness of the Swedish military."[4]

Participation in international organizations[edit]

Africa[edit]

Region Formal relations began Notes
 Algeria
 Angola
  • Angola has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Luanda.
 Burkina Faso See Burkina Faso–Sweden relations
  • Burkina Faso is accredited to Sweden from its embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Ouagadougou.
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Djibouti
  • Djibouti is accredited to Sweden from its embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Sweden is accredited to Djibouti from its embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and maintains an honorary consulate in Djibouti City.
 Egypt
  • Egypt has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Cairo.
 Ethiopia See Ethiopia–Sweden relations
  • Ethiopia has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Addis Ababa.
 Guinea-Bissau 1974 See Guinea-Bissau–Sweden relations

Sweden established official diplomatic relations with Guinea-Bissau in 1974, the same year Guinea-Bissau formally gained independence from Portugal.[5]

  • Guinea-Bissau is accredited to Sweden from its embassy in Brussels, Belgium and maintains an honorary consulate in Stockholm.
  • Sweden is accredited to Guinea-Bissau from its embassy in Lisbon, Portugal.
 Kenya See Kenya–Sweden relations
  • Kenya has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Nairobi.
 Mozambique
  • Mozambique has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Maputo.
 Namibia See Namibia–Sweden relations
  • Namibia has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden is accredited to Namibia from its embassy in Pretoria, South Africa and maintains an honorary consulate in Windhoek.
 Nigeria
  • Nigeria has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Abuja.
 South Africa See South Africa-Sweden relations
  • South Africa has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Pretoria.
 Sudan
  • Sudan has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Khartoum.
 Tanzania
  • Sweden has an embassy in Dar es Salaam.
  • Tanzania has an embassy in Stockholm.
 Tunisia See Sweden–Tunisia relations
  • Sweden has an embassy in Tunis.
  • Tunisia has an embassy in Stockholm.

Americas[edit]

Region Formal relations began Notes
 Argentina See Argentina–Sweden relations
 Belize
  • Belize has an honorary consulate in Stockholm.
  • Sweden is accredited to Belize from its embassy in Guatemala City and maintains an honorary consulate in Belmopan.
 Bolivia
  • Bolivia has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in La Paz.
 Brazil See Brazil–Sweden relations
  • Brazil has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Brasília.
 Canada See Canada–Sweden relations

Relations with Canada are close, positive and constructive. Both countries have strong commitments to peacekeeping, UN reform, development assistance, environmental protection, sustainable development, and the promotion and protection of human rights.[6] In addition, there are more than 300,000 Canadians of Swedish descent.[7]

  • Canada has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Ottawa.
 Chile 1827 See Chile–Sweden relations
  • Chile has an embassy in Stockholm and a consulate in Gothenburg.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Santiago.
 Colombia 11 December, 1874
  • Colombia has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Bogotá.
  • Sweden is the 6th largest trade partner of Colombia in the European Union.
 Cuba
  • Cuba has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Havana.
 El Salvador
  • El Salvador has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden is accredited to El Salvador from its embassy in Guatemala City and maintains an honorary consulate in San Salvador.
 Guatemala
  • Guatemala is accredited to Sweden from its embassy in Berlin, Germany.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Guatemala City.
 Guyana 16 June 1975

Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 16, 1975.

  • Guyana has an honorary consulate in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an ambassador accredited to Guyana based in Stockholm.
 Mexico July 29, 1885 See Mexico–Sweden relations.
  • Mexico has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Mexico City.
 Peru See Peru–Sweden relations
  • Peru has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Lima.
 United States See Sweden–United States relations.

Sweden and the United States have had strong ties since the 18th century.

  • Sweden has an embassy in Washington, D.C.
  • United States has an embassy in Stockholm.
 Uruguay See Sweden–Uruguay relations
  • Sweden is accredited to Uruguay from its embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Uruguay has an embassy in Stockholm.

Asia[edit]

Country Formal relations began Notes
 Armenia
 China See China–Sweden relations
  • China has an embassy in Stockholm and a consulate-general in Gothenburg.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Beijing and consulates-general in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

In July 2019, the UN ambassadors from 22 nations, including Sweden, signed a joint letter to the UNHRC condemning China’s mistreatment of the Uyghurs as well as its mistreatment of other minority groups, urging the Chinese government to close the Xinjiang re-education camps.[10][11]

 Georgia 19 September 1992 See Georgia–Sweden relations
 India See India–Sweden relations.
 Indonesia See Indonesia–Sweden relations.
 Iran See Iran–Sweden relations.
 Iraq See Iraq–Sweden relations.

Iraq has an embassy in Stockholm and Sweden has an embassy in Baghdad.[12] Sweden is one of the largest donors to the protection force for UN personnel in Iraq, that was established in 2004.

 Israel See Israel–Sweden relations.

Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1949. Israel has an embassy in Stockholm.[13] Sweden has an embassy in Tel Aviv.[14]

 Malaysia See Malaysia–Sweden relations.

Diplomatic relations were established in 1958.[15] Sweden has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Stockholm. As of 2009, 90 Swedish companies are present in Malaysia and about 450 Swedish citizens live in Malaysia.

 North Korea April 7, 1973[16] See North Korea–Sweden relations
 South Korea March 11, 1959[17] See South Korea–Sweden relations

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and Konungariket Sverige began on March 11, 1959.[18]

 Turkey See Sweden–Turkey relations.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Ankara and a consulate-general in Istanbul.
  • Turkey has an embassy in Stockholm.

Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Union for the Mediterranean. Sweden supports Turkey's European Union membership.[19][20] Sweden's Green Party has criticized France and Germany's opposition to Turkey's membership.[21][22]

Europe[edit]

Region Formal relations began Notes
 Albania
 Austria
  • Austria has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Vienna.
 Belarus 1992
 Belgium
  • Belgium has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an ambassador accredited to Belgium based in Stockholm.
 Bulgaria July 6, 1914
 Croatia
  • Croatia has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Zagreb.
  • Sweden joined the European Union as a full member on 1 January 1995, while Croatia joined on 1 July 2013.
 Cyprus See Cyprus–Sweden relations
  • Cyprus has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Nicosia.
 Czech Republic
  • Czech Republic has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Prague.
 Denmark See Denmark–Sweden relations.

Today, both countries are separated by the Øresund, which links the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Both countries are full members of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, of the Council of Europe, and of the European Union. There are around 21,000 Swedish people living in Denmark and there are around 42,000 Danish people living in Sweden.

  • Denmark has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Copenhagen.
 Estonia See Estonia–Sweden relations.

Estonia was under Swedish occupation between 1561 and 1721. Sweden re-recognized Estonia on August 27, 1991.

 Finland See Finland–Sweden relations.

Finnish–Swedish relations have a long history (Sweden and Finland was the same country for several hundred years), due to the close relationship between Finland and Sweden. Particularly in Finland, the issue emerges in frequent exposés of Finnish history, and in motives for governmental proposals and actions as reported in Finnish news broadcasts in English or other foreign languages. In Sweden, this relationship is a recurrent important theme of 20th-century history, although maybe by most Swedes considered to be an issue of purely historical relevance now that both countries have been members of the European Union since 1995.

  • Finland has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Helsinki and a consulate-general in Mariehamn.
 France See France–Sweden relations.
  • France has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Paris.
 Germany See Germany–Sweden relations
  • Germany has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Berlin.
 Greece See Greece–Sweden relations
  • Greece has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Athens.
 Hungary See Hungary–Sweden relations

Diplomacy relations between the two countries started on December 28, 1945.

  • Hungary has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Budapest.
 Iceland See Iceland–Sweden relations
  • Iceland has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Reykjavik.
 Ireland
  • Ireland has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden Sweden has an ambassador accredited to Ireland based in Stockholm.
  • Both countries are full members of Council of Europe and of the European Union.
 Italy See Italy–Sweden relations
  • Italy has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Rome.
 Kosovo See Kosovo–Sweden relations

Sweden recognized Kosovo on March 4, 2008.[23] Liaison Office of Sweden in Pristina, subordinated to the Embassy in Skopje, North Macedonia.[24] On March 8, 2008, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt became the first foreign minister to officially visit Kosovo since it declared its independence.[25] Sweden currently has 243 troops serving in Kosovo as peacekeepers in the NATO led Kosovo Force.[26]

  • Kosovo has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Pristina.
 Latvia
  • Latvia has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Riga.
 Lithuania See Lithuania–Sweden relations
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Vilnius.
 Moldova See Moldova–Sweden relations

Sweden is one of Moldova's top donors. From 1996, Sweden provided Moldova with technical assistance worth 30 million dollars, which significantly helped strengthen sectors such as: protection of human rights, democracy, good governance, public health, education, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, transport and the private sector. Much of the aid is delivered through the Swedish International Development Agency.[27][28] In 2007, the Swedish Government established the 2007–2010 strategy of cooperation with Moldova, which sees 11 million euros in financial assistance annually for three important sectors: good governance, strengthening of com petitiveness in the rural area and reduction of vulnerability in the energy sector.[27]

  • Moldova has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Chişinău.
 The Netherlands
  • The Netherlands has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in The Hague.
  • Both countries are full members of the European Union.
 Norway See Norway–Sweden relations
  • Norway has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Oslo.
 Poland See Poland–Sweden relations
  • Poland has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Warsaw.
 Portugal
  • Portugal has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Lisbon.
 Romania 1 November, 1916
  • Romania has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Bucharest.
  • Sweden joined the European Union as a full member on 1 January 1995, while Romania joined on 1 January 2007.
 Russia See Russia–Sweden relations.
 Serbia See Serbia–Sweden relations.
  • Serbia has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Belgrade.
 Spain See Spain–Sweden relations
  • Spain has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Madrid.
  Switzerland
  • Sweden has an embassy in Bern.
  • Switzerland has an embassy in Stockholm.
 Ukraine See Sweden–Ukraine relations.

A Ukrainian information bureau was opened 1916 in Stockholm by Volodymyr Stepankivskyi and M. Zaliznyak. In 1918 an official diplomatic mission from the Ukrainian People's Republic headed by K. Lossky was opened in Stockholm.[29] Diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Sweden were established on January 13, 1992.

  • Sweden has an embassy in Kyiv.
  • Ukraine has an embassy in Stockholm.
 United Kingdom See Sweden–United Kingdom relations.
  • Sweden has an embassy in London.
  • United Kingdom has an embassy in Stockholm.

Oceania[edit]

Country Formal relations began Notes
 Australia See Australia–Sweden relations.
  • Australia has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Canberra and a consulate-general in Sydney.
 New Zealand See New Zealand–Sweden relations
  • New Zealand has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden is accredited to New Zealand from its embassy in Canberra.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ WorldBank. "Military expenditure (% of GDP)". report. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  2. ^ "Sweden declines to sign UN nuclear ban treaty". The Local. July 12, 2019.
  3. ^ NATO Review. "Sweden: a special NATO partner?". NATO Review. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  4. ^ Aggestam, Lisbeth; Hyde-Price, Adrian (December 17, 2015). Pierre, Jon (ed.). ""A Force for Good"?". doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199665679.001.0001. ISBN 9780199665679. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Sellström, Tor. Sweden and National Liberation in Southern Africa. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1999. pp. 69–70.
  6. ^ Canada-Sweden Relations Archived February 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Ethnocultural Portrait of Canada – Data table". April 2, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  8. ^ "Felsida". Archived from the original on February 21, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 15, 2007. Retrieved June 19, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Which Countries Are For or Against China's Xinjiang Policies?". The Diplomat. July 15, 2019.
  11. ^ "More than 20 ambassadors condemn China's treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang". The Guardian. July 11, 2019.
  12. ^ Swedish embassy in Baghdad Archived September 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "Israels ambassad i Sverige". Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  14. ^ "Tel Aviv – SwedenAbroad". Archived from the original on April 13, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  15. ^ "National Day of Sweden Celebrations in Malaysia". Scandasia.com. Archived from the original on September 26, 2009. Retrieved June 5, 2009. 6 June 2008 does not only represent the National Day of Sweden, but also marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between Sweden and Malaysia. ...
  16. ^ Wertz, Daniel; Oh, JJ; Kim, Insung (August 2016). Issue Brief: DPRK Diplomatic Relations (PDF). The National Committee on North Korea. p. 4. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 28, 2016. Retrieved January 19, 2017.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  17. ^ http://www.mofa.go.kr/ENG/countries/europe/countries/20070823/1_24594.jsp?menu=m_30_40
  18. ^ http://overseas.mofa.go.kr/se-en/wpge/m_7967/contents.do
  19. ^ "Turkey Has Friends in EU, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt". Turkish Weekly. April 21, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2009.
  20. ^ "EU'S UPCOMING PRESIDENT EXTENDS FULL SUPPORT FOR TURKEY'S MEMBERSHIP". TurkNet. May 8, 2009. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2009.
  21. ^ "Sweden's Greens: Opposition to Turkey due to Islamophobia". Today's Zaman. May 11, 2009. Archived from the original on May 28, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2009.
  22. ^ "German, French Leaders Oppose Turkey Joining EU". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on May 14, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2009.
  23. ^ "Sweden recognises the Republic of Kosovo" (Press release). Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. March 4, 2008. Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  24. ^ Liaison Office of Sweden in Pristina, Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
  25. ^ Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt to visit Kosovo and Macedonia, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, March 6, 2008.
  26. ^ "Kosovo Force (KFOR)" nato.int Link accessed 21-07-09.
  27. ^ a b http://www.moldpres.md/default.asp?Lang=en&ID=63135
  28. ^ http://www.moldpres.md/default.asp?Lang=en&ID=77702
  29. ^ "Посольство України в Королівстві Швеція". Archived from the original on April 30, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Elgström, Ole, and Magnus Jerneck. "Activism and adaptation: Swedish security strategies, 1814–85." Diplomacy and Statecraft 8.3 (1997): 210-236.
  • Grimberg, Carl. A History of Sweden (1935) online free
  • Horn, David Bayne. Great Britain and Europe in the eighteenth century (1967) covers 1603–1702; pp 236–69.
  • Lindström, Peter, and Svante Norrhem. Flattering Alliances: Scandinavia, Diplomacy and the Austrian-French Balance of Power, 1648–1740 (Nordic Academic Press, 2013).
  • Makko, Aryo. Ambassadors of Realpolitik: Sweden, the CSCE and the Cold War (2016) excerpt
  • Nordstrom, Byron J. The History of Sweden (2002) excerpt and text search; also full text online free to borrow
  • Salmon, Patrick. Scandinavia and the great powers 1890–1940 (Cambridge University Press, 2002).
  • Sevin, Efe. Public diplomacy and the implementation of foreign policy in the US, Sweden and Turkey (Springer International Publishing, 2017).

External links[edit]