European Council (advanced)


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ISSUE AND POSITION The debate surrounding the creation of a common defense and security policy characterises the process of European integration since its inception after World War II. Despite the extraordinary progress of this process over the decades, the issue has always suffered from strong contrasts between the Member States and has therefore evolved particularly slowly and with difficulty. Today, the problem is more urgent than ever: the current international equilibrium, the role that the European Union has in the world and the various crises, from international terrorism and the strong instability of the neighbouring regions, need a strong and immediate answer. The time has come for the creation of effective co-ordination and active countermeasures by the European Union to meet the above-mentioned challenges; The Global Strategy recently presented by the EEAS stands in this direction. As far as Sweden is concerned, we can clearly see how the country has moved from being a skeptic about a strong CFSP integration to become an enthusiastic member with a leading role in this process today. Going beyond traditional neutrality, defense has gained a central role in current Swedish foreign policy. Sweden's foreign and security policy builds on the cohesion in the EU and on increased cooperation on a broad front: in the Nordic region and the Baltic Sea region, in the UN and the OSCE, with NATO and through a strong transatlantic link. However, the EU is the most important foreign policy arena: the Euro-Swedish relations in this field are characterised by mutual influence. The EU Global Strategy will play an important role in crisis management capacity using both civilian and military means. Sweden will actively seek to strengthen the Common Security and Defense Policy. We welcome the strengthening of EU-NATO cooperation, and we want the EU to work even more closely with the UN, where Sweden has, among other things, been elected as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the two-year 2017-2018.

DETAILED BACKGROUND INFORMATION The creation of a common defense and security policy has already been a discussion topic since the early years of the then ECSC. The international context at the beginning of the Cold War had pushed the six founding countries (Italy, France, West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) to conceive a close cooperation in this domain as well. Already in 1950, France presented the Pleven plan for ...