Sweden, a neutral country that is not a member of NATO, is joining the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence as a Contributing Participant, an option open for non-NATO nations.
Colonel Artur Suzik, director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence issued a statement that: “Sweden joining the Centre as a Contributing Participant will enhance cyber security cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. Swedish technical experts have already contributed remarkably to the world's largest live-fire international cyber defence exercise Locked Shields that the Centre organises,” noted.
A poll published on 9 January 2015 showed Swedish public support for joining NATO at 33 percent with 47 percent still against the idea, though opposition has fallen since the Crimean crisis, and Sweden has long cooperated with NATO to meet common objectives. Jan Salestrand, state secretary at the Swedish Ministry of Defence commented to the press: “Through closer cooperation with the Centre, Sweden wishes to contribute to the regional development of cyber-defence and international cyber-security.” Salestrand noted how the recently adopted Swedish Defence Bill states that Sweden should strengthen its cyber defence capabilities and that international cooperation is vital to this end.
The Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence is a NATO-accredited knowledge hub focused on interdisciplinary applied research and development as well as consultation, training and exercises in the field of cyber-security.