Greece: Service in place of military service


European Committee of Social Rights:
Conclusions XVIII-1 (Greece)
Articles 1, 12, 13, 16 and 19 of the Charter


Service in place of military service

Since the case of Quaker Council of European Affairs v. Greece Complaint No. 8/2000 decision on the merits 25 April 2001 Greece has been found to be in breach of Article 1§2 on the grounds that the length of service alternative to military service is excessive. The legal regulations governing alternative military service have been amended over the years, although in its previous conclusion the Committee noted that the length of alternative service was still excessive in that it usually represented more than double the length of compulsory military service.

New legislation on this issue has again been introduced during the reference period; those who serve alternative civilian service instead of the average military service (or unarmed military service) are now liable to serve 23 months, instead of 30 months as was set previously (those who serve reduced armed service of nine months are now liable for 17 months instead of 25; those who serve reduced armed service of six months are now liable for 11 months instead of 20 and those who serve reduced armed service of five months are now liable for 3 months instead of 15). The length of full-armed military service is set at twelve months.

The Committee notes that the new legislation provide for a significant reduction in the length of alternative service; however it recalls that under Article 1§2 the duration of alternative service may not exceed one and half times the length of military service and consequently the situation in Greece can not be considered as being in conformity with Article 1§2 of the Charter.




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