Mandatory military service is making a comeback across Europe. Sweden just drafted its first new class of conscripts this year since abolishing the draft nearly a decade ago. Lithuania also reinstated the draft, and Norway started drafting women for the first time two years ago.
In Italy, Romania and Germany debates have been going on over reintroducing some form of conscription in recent months.
French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for the introduction of a national service program that would include a military option. He has also expressed the desire to build a true European Army, a suggestion that the German government has shown support for.
Governments that already have conscription are: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Cyprus, Greece, Austria and Switzerland show no signs that they are going to get rid of their systems.
Some governments including Germany and France, have discussed bringing back mandatory conscription for men and women as a way to integrate migrants into society. Estonia considers the draft as a way to integrate the country’s Russian minority.
In Sweden, the draft is still fundamentally about security.
Image: “26 Drawing the First Military Draft Number” by Kenny Cole is licensed under CC BY 2.0