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Creating a common EU policy on nuclear non-proliferation education: a case study of Sweden

Non-proliferation Paper No. 29

Non-proliferation Paper No. 29

Publisher: SIPRI
14pp.
June, 2013

The European Union Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (EU WMD Strategy), adopted in 2003, was among other things supposed to lead to a unified and coherent approach to member states’ cooperation on non-proliferation with third countries. Sweden’s non-proliferation cooperation with several former Soviet states was already well developed when Sweden joined the EU in 1995. However, a new set of cooperative activities—nuclear non-proliferation education cooperation programmes in Russia and later Ukraine—started in 2004. These programmes have been successful in numerous ways. Many universities in these countries can now offer courses in nuclear nonproliferation, and networks of cooperation have been created. To further build the professional skills in nonproliferation of Russian and Ukrainian scholars and scientists, they need to be able to participate in and contribute to international forums. To facilitate this, the EU should resume its non-proliferation support to Russia. Sweden has performed well in terms of the goals of the EU WMD Strategy and the associated 2008 New Lines for Action, including through the non-proliferation education programmes. However, this has much to do with the great overlap between the long-standing Swedish national policy, which has largely been pursued independently of the obligations of EU membership. Implementation of the EU WMD Strategy has nevertheless had positive impacts on the Swedish support activities.