Rethinking Military Service in Europe

From 2023 Latvia will rely again on conscription, after abandoning it in 2007, when the country joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The decision was taken to strengthen army forces, that now rely only on 7,500 active soldiers and national guardsmen (Euronews, 2022). The Russian invasion of Ukraine created the need to reinforce the army potential, and conscription – the mandatory enlistment of people in the national armed forces of their citizenship country – helps to reach this goal by increasing the number of reservists. The Latvian Ministry of Defence plans to recruit some 500 young men aged 18-27 twice a year; Riga hopes the quotas will initially be filled by volunteers, with the compulsoriness becoming effective only at a later stage (Balčiūnas, 2022).

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