On 8 October, ICDS co-organized a breakfast seminar together with the Embassy of Sweden in Tallinn. Entitled Sweden and Security in the Baltic Sea Region, the seminar began with a speech from Björn von Sydow, member of the Swedish Parliament and chairman of the country’s delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, followed by remarks from Hans Wallmark, also an MP and and member of the delegation. Moderated by ICDS director Jüri Luik, the event also featured three other members of the Swedish Parliament — Åsa Lindestam, Lena Emilsson, and Lotta Olsson — as well as several members of Estonia’s Parliament, senior civil servants, and representatives of the policy and diplomatic communities in Tallinn.
The formal remarks were followed by a lively discussion focusing on the security situation in the Baltic Sea region, including topics such as: the prospects of Sweden joining NATO, the similarities and differences between the Swedish and Finnish positions on NATO membership, and the roles of both the EU and the United States in ensuring European security. Participants addressed the reasons for Sweden’s current policy of maintaining its position as a non-aligned nation as well as the paradox that many who oppose Swedish membership because of the dominant American role in the organization are nonetheless ready to accept intimate bilateral defence cooperation between Stockholm and Washington.