Germany: Christian Democratic Union party considering return of military service
Germany Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer suggested opening the debate on reintroducing military service for high school graduates.
After doing a “listening tour” of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) branches, Annegret Kramp-karrembauer came out in favor of starting the discussion of reintroducing compulsory national service in Germany.
In an attempt to professionalise Bundeswehr (the German military), conscription was suspended in 2011. Since then, Bundeswehr struggles to make the military career attractive enough for young Germans and achieve its targeted numbers for new recruits. The leader of the CDU considers that reintroducing the military service “would bring a great social benefit to the society” and claimed that “young people should give something back to their country”.
The debate in Germany doesn’t seem to result in a concrete proposal yet, since reintroducing military service would need a constitutional amendment, which requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament. So far, the only two parties in favor of the idea are the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), and potentially the CDU, which in total makes less than half of the German parliament.
Sources: Deutsche Welle, Conscription in Germany: Merkel's party mulls return of military service, 28 November 2019.