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Nordic-British Military Cooperation: Spotlight on Joint Expedition Force

Nordic-British Military Cooperation: Joint Expedition Force (JEF)

The latest headlines from Sweden are buzzing with the news surrounding the Joint Expedition Force (JEF). It’s quite the talk of the town with the northern European nations coming together, tackling big issues like safety, defence and research.

What’s JEF All About?

Established in 2017, JEF is an initiative led by the UK to prepare a rapid task force backed by 10 countries in the event of a northern European crisis. The involved nations include the Nordic and Baltic countries, along with the UK and the Netherlands. Sweden has been a part of this military cooperation from its inception.

“JEF is aimed at quickly assembling a task force in times of crisis that could arise in the Baltic Sea area, the Nordic Cap or North Atlantic.”

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The Significance of JEF for Sweden

The JEF is of great significance to Sweden, contributing to the safety of the region and, most importantly, the Baltic Sea area. Swedish Armed Forces have been participating in multiple JEF exercises over the years, and these have only increased following Russia’s attack on Ukraine in 2022.

“This military cooperation is seen as a crucial contribution to ensuring adequate military capability in the region, providing quick and flexible responses.”

The JEF Summit at Visby

In the charming medieval town of Visby, a JEF summit meeting took place recently, hosting leaders from JEF participating countries. Hosted by Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, one of the notable attendees was the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The leaders were shown a military demonstration by the Swedish defense, which aimed to increase understanding of Gotland’s military strategic position.

Here at this summit, the leaders discussed strengthening their ability to handle hybrid threats and enhancing their cooperation with NATO. An exciting revelation from this meeting is the plans to further develop their defence cooperation.

Sweden, JEF & NATO

Despite the ongoing involvement in JEF, Sweden does not see this cooperation as an alternative to NATO membership. Importantly, JEF does not provide any defence guarantees for Sweden. Moreover, any future JEF operations will be decided by the participating countries themselves, not by NATO.

“All the ten countries participating in JEF, except Sweden, are also members of the defence alliance, NATO.”

The Bilateral Meeting with PM Sunak

Besides, there was a bilateral meeting between Kristersson and Sunak where they discussed security policies, NATO, and the joint support towards Ukraine. Both countries are likely to sign a strategic partnership agreement, aimed at strengthening the relationship within innovation, research, green transition, trade and investment. Within the defence sector, the cooperation will enhance in areas such as counter-terrorism and defence equipment exports.

So, grab your morning fika and join the conversation about this buzzing topic! Do share this with your fellow expats so they can stay informed about the fascinating world of Nordic-British cooperation.

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