- Advertisement -

THE German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius projected arguments in favor of return of the measure of compulsory military service of citizens her Germanyimmediately provoking the reaction of officials of another party-partner in the coalition government.

Mr Pistorius, who took office last month, said conscription would, among other things, improve the country’s ability to deal with disasters, strengthen the German armed forces and emergency services.

- Advertisement -

It would also show “how important these institutions are for the functioning of our society,” the federal defense minister added, speaking to the German news agency.

Mr Pistorius belongs to the centrist Social Democrats (SPD), the major party in the government under Chancellor Olaf Solz.

The idea was immediately contested by officials of the Free Democrats (FDP), a junior government partner.

Marco Bussmann, the Minister of Justice, an official of the FDP, a friendly party close to the business world, objected, speaking to the German Agency, that the thinking is moving in a “completely wrong direction”, he questioned whether its return would even be constitutional, while he also observed that the young people “in recent years have been greatly burdened by the pandemic” of the new coronavirus.

While acknowledging that it would be beneficial for young people to serve in emergency and disaster response services, the Bundeswehr — the federal army — or other social services, Mr. Bussmann pointed out that millions of Germans already work for these institutions because they believe in it. , not because they are required by law. He insisted that the current regime should not be changed.

Johannes Vogel, a leading figure in the FDP, judged for his part that conscription “would actually be a brake on the modernization of our armed forces”, the “professional Bundeswehr that we need”.

Conscription in Germany was abolished in 2011, after 55 years, when Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg of the Christian Democrats (CDU) was defense minister.

But Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine almost a year ago, on February 24, 2022, has reopened the debate on conscription in Germany as the country’s security architecture changes dramatically.

General conscription in Germany means that all citizens are obliged to serve for a certain period of time, either in the armed forces or in social or other public services.

In June 2022, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier sparked a national debate by proposing the introduction of compulsory social “service” for young people; the idea also met resistance.