Table: Conscription and conscientious objection in the European Union

Country Conscription CO for conscripts CO for professional soldiers
before
military
service
during/after
military
service
Austria Yes Yes No (1) No
Belgium Suspended Yes (2) No No
Bulgaria Suspended Yes (2) No No
Cyprus Yes Yes (3) No No
Czech Republic Suspended Yes (2) No No
Denmark Yes Yes Yes No
Estonia Yes Yes No No
Finland Yes Yes Yes No
France Suspended Yes (2) No
Germany Yes Yes Yes Yes
Greece Yes Yes No No
Hungary Suspended Yes (2) No (4) No
Ireland No n.a. n.a. No
Italy Suspended Yes (2) No
Latvia Suspended Yes (2) No
Lithuania Yes Yes (5) No No
Luxembourg No n.a. n.a. No
Malta No n.a. n.a. No
Poland Yes (6) Yes No No
Portugal No (7) No
Romania No n.a. n.a. No
Slovakia Suspended Yes (2) No No
Slovenia No n.a. n.a. No
Spain Suspended Yes (2) No
Sweden Yes (8) Yes Yes No
The Netherlands Suspended Yes (2) Yes (2) No
United Kingdom No n.a. n.a. Yes
Candidate countries
Croatia Suspended Yes (2) Yes (2) No
Macedonia No n.a. n.a. No
Turkey Yes No No No

Notes:

(1) Applications of reservists are possible, but only three years after the beginning of their military service
(2) Conscription is only suspended. Conscientious objection will be available should it be reintroduced
(3) Northern Cyprus does not recognise the right to CO
(4) In case conscription will be reintroduced, CO is only possible before a conscript takes the oath
(5) Although conscientious objection is recognised, a genuinely civilian substitute service is not available
(6) Conscription is likely to be phased out in 2010-2012

(8) Conscription might soon be abolished. Substitute service for conscientious objectors will be abolished by the end of 2008.

Veröffentlicht in The Broken Rifle, May 2008, No. 78