The Progression of Sweden's Foreign Policy Since WW2

Sweden has always had an underlying philosophy of neutrality when it comes to foreign affairs, but since the end of World War II (WWII or WW2) in 1945 it has been in their best interest to participate in some of the most influential international organizations. Although they still maintain their policy of staying free of alliances during peacetime, Sweden allows for the cooperation with nations in the event that there is threat against Sweden's security. If something were to threaten Sweden's renowned high standard of living, they would do anything in there power to ensure their country's safety.

Since the end of WW2, Sweden has been a part of the United Nations (UN). Being an active member of the UN does not mean that Sweden has any particular alliances, but it displays a desire for diplomacy and justice throughout the world. Through the UN, Sweden hopes to promote international peacemaking and cooperation, which, in turn, subserves their overall devotion to neutrality.

After refusing to join the EU during the Cold War (1947-1991), Sweden finally decided to join the European Union (EU) in an effort to promote an increase in international cooperation. Many have argued that joining the EU is contrary to their underlying philosophy of neutrality, but with an ever-expanding global economy, one can conclude that participating in the EU was in the best interest of the Swedish economy and all of Sweden's citizens. They further addressed this discrepancy with their beliefs by reserving the right to refrain from participating in any potential defense alliances formed by the EU.

Sweden also participates in the Nordic Council of Ministers, which includes its nordic neighbors, Finland and Norway. The council serves to address any social, economic and political affairs that may arise between the nordic countries, but it does not serve as an alliance during times of war.

Although Sweden is very outspoken about their foreign policy of nonalignment, they are not afraid to state their position on key international affairs. Particularly, Sweden has partaken in a number of issues, including arms control, disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation. Sweden routinely participates in UN and NATO peacekeeping efforts around the globe, though, these can be viewed as diplomatic preventative strategies for maintaining peace on the domestic front.

Sweden has also been known to actively participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace, the Western European Union and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership council.

Furthermore, Sweden continues to strengthen diplomatic ties with countries around the world. They have opened a number of embassies throughout first-world countries and developing nations alike. Mainly, this can be perceived as an effort to spread their ideologies of diplomacy, peace and justice on a global scale, while simultaneously protecting their nation's interests and convictions.

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