One such initiative has been to convene two digital roundtables with leading experts from several different countries in order to discuss lessons learned and experiences gained so far during the pandemic. The second of these roundtables was held on 11 June and focused on EU and international cooperation. It was organised in collaboration with the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) and centred around the potential in strengthening EU and international cooperation to prevent and manage future trans-boundary crises.
The meeting featured specially invited speakers and also had an invited audience from Sweden and abroad. Discussions included exploring possibilities for a stronger EU system for managing crises, based on lessons learned from covid-19. Among other central themes were the importance of trust and of continuing to defend and uphold ”the social contract”, both at the national level as well as the European and international level. Challenges in the area of disinformation and foreign influence were highlighted, as well as the importance of working from a broad definition of security in the way ahead, with a balance between investments in “soft” and “hard” security. Issues of resilience and perspectives on sustainability in recovery efforts were other recurring themes.
MSB and UI are currently compiling a report to be published on msb.se. The report from the first roundtable, which was held on 19 May in collaboration with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), will also be published on msb.se. These discussions and the reports they result in will provide important contributions towards understanding the possible impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on MSB’s continued mission to strengthen preparedness for peace-time crises and emergencies, as well as civil preparedness in total defence.