Säpo

Risk of interference in Swedish elections 2018

2018-01-24

The Swedish election system is robust. Still, incidents in other countries have made it clear that the Swedish Security Service must work to protect the election campaign from interference from foreign powers.

"Having followed international developments relating to influence operations targeting elections, we know that there are forces acting against Sweden, also in Sweden. It cannot be ruled out that foreign powers will take advantage of the elections to enhance conflicts in Swedish society and attempt to weaken the democratic system," says Anders Thornberg, Head of the Swedish Security Service.

"We urge everyone to critically evaluate any news or rumours."

Work to protect the most critical assets in view of the election begun more than a year ago. In the spring of 2017, our Service met with representatives of the Government and all the Riksdag parties to inform them of the importance of protective security and security-enhancing measures. We have also embarked on a series of meetings with the Riksdag Security Office and the political parties’ headquarters, that will continue until the elections.

The Swedish Security Service works jointly with the Swedish Police, the Election Authority and the Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) to create the best possible conditions for secure elections.

Protecting central Government

The 2018 elections touch upon several areas covered by the Service’s remit. The Service is responsible for ensuring that members of central Government can go about their business safely, also when taking part in debates and election campaigns.  The Swedish Police has the same responsibility for politicians on local and regional level.

"In dignitary protection work, the basis lies in people becoming more security conscious and making informed choices, says Anders Thornberg.

To this end, the Service has published a new version of the handbook on personal security which contains advice and information to those active in politics.