CROATIA: Government proposes to re-introduce conscription
The Ministry of Defence in Croatia considers reintroducing compulsory military service, which was “suspended” in 2008 following high numbers of applications for conscientious objection by young people.
According to the Ministry of Defence plans, which haven't been officially proposed to Parliament yet, a pilot project of conscription in the form of a 4-weeks "security and self-defence training" might take place next year. With this “new” conscription, the Ministry of Defence is planning to reach around 30.000 young people each year from 2019 on. As reported by the activists, the government hasn't specified a budget for this plan yet, however willing to introduce this training programme. Further details will be clarified in the new “national security strategy” of the government, which is expected to be ready by May 2017.
In response to the plans to reintroduce conscription, the Centre for Peace Studies (CMS)based in Zagreb, launched a nation-wide campaign calling on the Croatian Government to withdraw their proposal. Gordan Bosanac from CMS said “we are afraid that activation of compulsory military service in Croatia can have domino effect to the region and will increase militarisation of Balkans.” He reported to WRI that according to the current public surveys 54% of the Croatian public is in favour of re-introduction of compulsory military service, while 44% are against it (with 2% who haven't decided yet). However 51% of youth is against this idea. He said that they will continue to campaign to convince more (young) people to oppose the reintroduction of conscription and to pressure the government to give up from their plans.
Source:Total Croatia News, Croatia Reintroducing Compulsory Military Training in 2019, 30th January 2017.