Growing support for NATO-membership in Sweden

The NATO/OTAN logo in Norfolk, Virginia in 2012. (Paul J. Richards / AFP)
The NATO/OTAN logo in Norfolk, Virginia in 2012. (Paul J. Richards / AFP)
A new study from Gothenburg University’s SOM Institute shows that more and more Swedes want Sweden to join NATO.

”I think the combination of the perceived Russian threat, and the debate about the Armed Forces’ inability to carry out their tasks is what has lead to more Swedes to support a Swedish NATO-membership,” Ulf Bjereld, a political scientist at Gothenburg University, tells Swedish Radio News.

However, the number of Swedes opposed to a NATO-membership is still larger than those who support it. Still, these new numbers show a steady trend. According to the authors of the study, Ulf Bjereld and Karl Ydén, popular opinion on the matter has been quite static in the past, but last year a sudden change was observed when the amount of people supporting a NATO-membership almost doubled.

“Many people were surprised that popular opinion on NATO had reversed so drastically, and that opposition to NATO had decreased so fast. People may have thought that it was a strange poll, or a happenstance, but this year’s poll show that this was not the case. The Swedish NATO-opposition is decreasing, changing the landscape of the Swedish NATO debate,” says Bjereld.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Indigenous leaders warn international community, continued tensions with Russia will harm Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

Denmark:  Nordics to step up security cooperation on perceived Russian threat, Yle News

Finland:  16 Finnish jets join NATO-dominated exercise over Arctic, Yle News

Norway: Norway must ramp up military in response to Russia: report, Barents Observer

Russia: Russian governor praises role of Barents Cooperation, Barents Observer

Sweden: Security expert: “Russia seeks to block Baltic energy independence”, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. Arctic rep: Russia’s Arctic buildup not necessarily martial, Alaska Public Radio Network


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