Dutch military draft election issue more prominent after Sweden conscription plan

Dutch soldiers
Dutch soldiers. Photo: Countrymaster / Wikimedia Commons

The Swedish government reintroduced military conscription, which was abolished in the country in 2010. The Swedish decision again drew attention to the discussion of a Dutch military draft, Metro Nieuws reports.

According to the newspaper, Sweden and the Netherlands can't really be compared. Firstly, Sweden is not a member of NATO, and is therefore completely responsible for its own defense. Now that Russia is emphatically aimed at the Baltic region, Sweden decided it is time to strengthen the army, and there are too few voluntary recruits.

Sweden is therefore sending a letter to 180 thousand boys and girls born in 1999 and 2000 telling them they are eligible for conscription. They will not all have to join the army, however. They will go through a selection process and Sweden will eventually train some 4 thousand civilians into soldiers.

In the Netherlands mandatory military draft was suspended in 1997, though all boys still receive a letter telling them that they are old enough to join the military. From next year

Over the past years a number of political parties in the Netherlands called for mandatory military service to be reinstated. The CDA is most adamant about it. The party wants to introduce a "social service". In practice this means that 17 year olds will again be called up for military service. But they can "buy it off" by performing a social service, such as working in healthcare or at a volunteer organization. 

The PvdA, PVV and ChristenUnie all called for a similar service in the past, though the PvdA mostly aimed it at radicalized youth. 

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