You are currently viewing Episode 3: Is Conscription Returning to Europe?

Episode 3: Is Conscription Returning to Europe?

Since the end of the Cold War, most European countries have suspended compulsory military service, reducing their militaries to a relatively small force of volunteers. The consequences of the cuts to military budgets have become more apparent following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. While only 9 out of the 27 Member States of the EU have compulsory military service today, developing highly professional armed forces capable of conducting multinational complex operations has become a huge challenge.

In the third episode of StrategicALLY, Gaia Durante Mangoni is joined by Sophia Besch, a Senior Fellow in the Europe Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. They discuss whether we are witnessing a comeback of mandatory military service in Europe and the main conscription challenges for European countries. They explore how states are reshaping their military service models to make them more attractive and fit for this new era of collective defence. They also look at concrete examples of how conscription is particularly successful today, including Finland and Sweden.

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