By Lorenzo Scarazzato, The SIPRI Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, November 2023

The Armament Industry European Research Group (Ares Group) was created in 2016 by The French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS), who coordinates the Group. The aim of the Ares Group, a high-level network of security and defence specialists across Europe, is to provide a forum to the European armament community, bringing together top defence industrial policy specialists, to encourage fresh strategic thinking in the field, develop innovative policy proposals and conduct studies for public and private actors,


Over time, the European Union (EU) could gradually become a major player in the EDTIB, the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base. In recent years, it has developed several initiatives to support defence industrial cooperation between Member States and their defence companies1. For European capitals, this represents a major paradigm shift. How do they perceive this new role that the EU, and the Commission in particular, are in the process of acquiring? What is their perception of the EU's toolbox for supporting the EDTIB?

To answer these questions, the Ares Group has decided to launch a series of seven papers (comments) on as many European countries. In the case of Sweden, Lorenzo Scarazzato from SIPRI explains that Stockholm is looking at the EU's initiatives with interest, but also with a degree of scepticism. There are historical and structural reasons for this scepticism, as well as Sweden's relatively limited capacity to influence Brussels, which ultimately fuels doubts about the Commission's growing powers.

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