Nordic Cooperation on Civil Security: The ‘Haga’ process 2009-2014


  • Alyson JK Bailes
  • Carolina Sandö

Publish date: 2014-10-17

Report number: FOI-R--3944--SE

Pages: 72

Written in: English


  • Nordic states
  • cooperation
  • Haga process
  • civil security
  • societal
  • security
  • emergency management
  • EU civil security policies
  • Baltic regional cooperation
  • Arctic security cooperation


This study is the result of the first detailed research project to examine the progress of the 'Haga' non-military security cooperation between the five Nordic states since 2009. It reviews the history of Nordic cross-border cooperation on civil emergency preparedness and management, and discusses why Nordic Ministers chose to raise this work to high political level with a meeting at Haga (near Stockholm) in 2009. Since then, regular meetings at Ministerial and working levels have looked at a whole range of shared Nordic challenges, from search and rescue, to informing the public and the role of volunteers. They have sought cost-effective solutions for pooling Nordic resources and making their territories a truly 'frontier-free' area in this context. But what has actually been achieved? Based on extensive practitioner interviews, the two authors of this report stress the practical and political timeliness of 'Haga' cooperation, but also question whether it has yet become comprehensive and far-reaching enough to overcome the real obstacles existing even between close Nordic neighbours. They also assess the inter-relationship of Haga with EU efforts, Nordic-Baltic and Baltic regional relationships, and Arctic security-related cooperation in the relevant fields. This report is a joint publication by the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) and Centre for Small State Studies (CSSS) at the University of Iceland.