Brussels would introduce compulsory EU-wide conscription

Brussels would introduce compulsory EU-wide conscription

Mandatory conscription across the EU could be among the first issues to be discussed in the new EP set up after the European Parliament elections in June.

POLITICS MAY 20. 2024 14:30

Reinstating compulsory military service has become a common topic of discussion in Germany in recent weeks. The party alliance of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) has voted to put mandatory military service back on its agenda during their party congress, promising to reintroduce it once it retakes power in Berlin. Not much earlier, Manfred Weber, president of the European People’s Party (EPP) floated the idea of introducing an EU-wide draft as well as equipping Brussels with its own nuclear deterrence capabilities, recalls The European Conservative news portal.

The portal adds that Germany is not the only country that is considering the re-introduction of the draft in Europe, and the whole debate may also need to be addressed centrally, at the EU level, as many in Brussels believe. Discussing the EPP’s EU election programme in an interview with the Bavarian BR24 media outlet, Manfred Weber argued for further centralisation of European defence policies.

Weber said he is a strong supporter of general service for Europe,

but the choice for social sector alternatives must also be offered to young people.

V4NA has learned from sources in Brussels that

Manfred Weber and his allies aim to get the new EP to be set up after the European Parliament elections to discuss compulsory EU-wide conscription as one of the first issues.

The plan is to introduce compulsory military service from the age of 18, although it is not yet clear whether this would be for men only or whether women would also be required to take part in some form of training.

What does seem certain, however, is that the training is designed to prepare the troops to be immediately deployable, even directly to the front line.

Given the statements made in recent weeks, including by French President Emmanuel Macron, who has not ruled out sending European troops to Ukraine, the idea of a mandatory EU conscription truly raises concerns. Estonia is seriously discussing the possibility of sending troops into western Ukraine to take over non-direct combat roles from Ukrainian forces in order to free them up to fight on the front, the national security advisor to the president told Breaking Defense.

Estonia has never abolished conscription. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas recently told the BBC that she believes conscription is „another integral part of both providing a deterrence to Russia but also stronger defence if it does attack”.

„We have a reserve army of 44,000 people that would equal, for Great Britain, around two million people. Two million people who are ready to defend their country and know what they have to do,” she said, adding that of course it is up to the UK to decide whether to introduce conscription, but she recommends it in many aspects.

Among the European NATO members, conscription models are in place in Norway, Turkiye, Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden, Greece, Finland, Latvia and Denmark. In the Netherlands, men receive call-ups, but military service is voluntary for the time being.



army, European Union, military