Source: Dagens Nyheter | edited by Viviana Levet/Riedia
Sweden is actively rearming both its civil and military sectors, focusing on supply preparedness to strengthen civil defense. This crucial aspect ensures access to vital goods like food and medicine. While Sweden had significant stockpiles during the World Wars, supply preparedness and civil defense were gradually dismantled since the 1990s.
In 2015, efforts began to rebuild supply preparedness, analyzing the country's needs. With fewer state-owned companies, the private sector now plays a larger role. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted vulnerabilities and the need for flexibility, leading to the launch of the "Flexible Preparedness" initiative. This collaboration between companies, Region Stockholm, and Rise aims to enhance preparedness for critical supplies.
During the pandemic, collaborations between companies like Scania and Camfil helped acquire and produce necessary protective equipment. Saab, a Swedish company, actively participated in the initiative, exploring technologies like 3D printing for cost-effective production.
National coordination is crucial for effective supply preparedness. The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) acknowledges the state's reliance on the business community for critical production and is working on establishing oversight. An investigation is underway to determine how a national function for supply preparedness should be financed and organized.
FOI, the Swedish Defence Research Agency, conducted a report emphasizing the promise of flexible preparedness. They stressed the need for national collaboration, streamlined communication frameworks, improved procurement rules, and enhanced inventory capacity.
As Sweden advances its supply preparedness, collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors will play a vital role in ensuring a robust response to crises and maintaining critical production capabilities.