Conscription in the European Union Armed Forces: National Trends, Benefits and EU Modernised Service

Conscription in the European Union Armed Forces: National Trends, Benefits and EU Modernised Service

During the 19th and 20th centuries, most countries, whether authoritarian or not, envisaged conscription in order to involve the citizenry in their armies. These centuries were a stage for copious conflicts and nations needed to ensure their protection at all times. Since the end of the Second World War, and even more so after the end of the Cold War, a majority of democratic countries began to abolish, formally or informally, their conscription systems which seemed unnecessary in peaceful times. Between 1990 and 2013, 24 current European Union countries decided to abandon the draft. In the past few years however, especially since the Ukrainian crisis, there has been a resurgence of debate on conscription in Europe, and Ukraine and Lithuania have reintroducing it. Meanwhile, other Eastern, but also Northern and Western European countries, have begun to debate the possibility of reintroducing conscription.

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