Perspectives from major and minor states

October 24th, 2018, 09:00-13:00
Sverigesalen, Swedish Defence University
Drottning Kristinas väg 37, Stockholm

Europe is currently facing several simultaneous challenges, which together provide a cause for concern and create an atmosphere of extraordinary uncertainty. Several problems originate from outside of Europe. A crossfire between pressure from the East (Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, et al and resulting deterioration and tension in East-West relations), from the West (unprecedented uncertainties pertaining to transatlantic relations following recent U.S. administration policies) and from the South (aspects of mass migration and terrorism with roots in Europe´s near abroad) present challenges and threats. Self-inflicted disturbances also threaten the unity, harmony and sense of joint direction within the European family of nations (Brexit, discord on migration, trends towards illiberalism and populism in several countries, to mention a few).

Taken together, these challenges and set-backs clearly call for determined and united responses. These fall into several areas. Credible and relevant military deterrence, readiness to take on a larger security responsibility for enhanced transatlantic burden sharing, solidarity on migration, intelligence cooperation are some of the more prevalent areas of focus. But in a Europe of growing complexity with disintegration tendencies, rational collective action is getting increasingly difficult, tempting bigger European states towards uni- or bilateralized security, rather than to seek to strengthen existing collective institutions. This, in turn, puts smaller European states, including Sweden, in the difficult possition of having to ”choose” between natural multilateralist instincts (and interests) and a perceived necessity to adhere to any and all of current national (or bi- or tri-lateral) initiatives in the interest of concrete defence/deterrence efficiency in an atmosphere of perceived threat – and security exposure and vulnerability.

Convening comprehensive national and international expertise on European security, the Academy’s symposium will address European security from the major and minor state perspectives. In the first session, the panel will seek to highlight and analyze the significance of current security trends, global as well as regional, setting the wider security context. In the second session, current responses by smaller security actors, including issues of what Sweden can do and perhaps must do, as a non-aligned country in an exposed sub-region. The strong linkages to the major European and Transatlantic security actors are key issues to take into account.

R.S.V.P. before October 22th at


Sverker Göranson
President RSwAWS

Programme »

Invitation (pdf)