Sweden in Nato

On 7 March 2024, Sweden became a member of the defence organisation NATO. Here is the authorities' information on what NATO membership entails.

Why Sweden has joined NATO

The Swedish government believes that joining NATO is the best way to protect Sweden's security. The background to Sweden's application is the deteriorating security situation following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

As a member of NATO, Sweden is covered by the defence guarantees and obligations on which NATO is based. Sweden also has a vote when decisions are made. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty states that if Sweden were to be subjected to an armed attack, the other member states are obliged to help.

What does Swedish NATO membership mean for you?

Sweden's membership of NATO places no demands on you as a person, apart from the total defence obligation that already applies in Sweden. One thing that may be noticeable is that Sweden will participate in NATO exercises.

If you work in socially important activities, your workplace may notice that Sweden is now increasing the pace of building civil defence. For those who work in the Swedish Armed Forces, NATO membership may mean serving abroad.

Read more about total defence duty

Will Swedish soldiers participate in defence operations outside Sweden's borders?

NATO is based on mutual defence guarantees. This means that Swedish personnel may participate in defence operations outside Sweden's borders, just as other countries' personnel may need to participate in operations to defend Sweden.

If Sweden becomes involved in war or a threat of war, Swedish citizens who have undergone basic training with compulsory military service and are stationed at war can be called up for service under the Compulsory National Defence Act. This applies regardless of whether Sweden is a member of NATO or not. The extent to which conscripts are obliged to serve, even outside Sweden's borders, is a question that is being analysed in more detail due to Sweden's membership of NATO.

Government: Sweden's role in NATO

What requirements does NATO membership place on Sweden?

Membership means that Sweden is expected to contribute personnel to NATO's political and military organisation. This involves around a couple of hundred positions. In the event of an armed attack on another member state, Sweden is obliged to assist and defend that country.

Each member state decides for itself what it will contribute if another member is attacked. Sweden contributes to NATO in both military and civilian terms, including through joint exercises, joint air and missile defence and participation in NATO's deterrence and defence planning. In terms of civil defence, Sweden contributes by planning for so-called host nation support. This means receiving military units from other countries that need to be placed in or transported through the country. Sweden also contributes knowledge in areas such as psychological defence and population protection.

More about how Sweden will contribute to NATO is decided in connection with our membership, through political decisions. Examples of how others contribute: The USA has military bases in Germany and elsewhere, and Norway contributes supplies for the storage of American equipment. Some countries contribute to the air defence of the Baltics.

MSB: Things to know about NATO

What does NATO membership cost?

As a NATO member, Sweden must allocate two percent of its GDP (gross domestic product) to defence. At least one fifth of the defence budget must be spent on investments in equipment.

Members also pay an annual contribution to NATO's civilian and military budget. In the case of Sweden, the contribution is around €50 million.

Will there be nuclear weapons on Swedish territory?

It is up to NATO member states to decide whether to authorise the deployment or storage of nuclear weapons on their territory. The Swedish government sees no reason to have nuclear weapons in Sweden in peacetime.