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Country Fast Facts: Sweden


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A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war in almost two centuries.

An armed neutrality was preserved in both World Wars.

Sweden's long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system interlarded with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000-02 by the global economic downturn, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries.

Sweden joined the European Union in 1995, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. During the Cold War, Europe's non-aligned Western countries, except Ireland, had considered membership unwise, as the EU predecessor, the European Community, had been strongly associated with NATO countries.

Following the end of the Cold War, however, Sweden, Austria and Finland joined, though in Sweden's case without adopting the Euro.

Sweden remains non-aligned militarily, although it participates in some joint military exercises with NATO and some other countries, in addition to extensive cooperation with other European countries in the area of defence technology and defence industry.

Source: CIA World Fact Book

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