Military Commissioner Högl: Compulsory military service is inevitable

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Written By Maya Cantina


The military representative of the BundestagAccording to Eva Högl, compulsory military service is inevitable. “Voluntariness is important, but in the long term there must also be a commitment,” Högl told the magazine “Stern” when asked whether mere compulsory military service followed by voluntary participation was enough.

“It must be clear to everyone: everyone in our society must contribute.” The Swedish model is exemplary, says Högl. Everyone is subject to military service, but not an entire cohort is drafted, but only part of the group of people who volunteer for military service. If the number of volunteers is not sufficient, “there must be an obligation,” Högl continued. “I agree with Boris Pistorius on that.”

Defense Minister Pistorius (SPD) this week presented his plans for a new model of military service. He wants to restore the registration of those eligible for military service, which was suspended thirteen years ago. He also wants to require young men to provide information in a questionnaire about their willingness and ability to serve and, if selected, to undergo a sample. It is still unclear whether they can be recruited against their will.

Högl said that she, like Pistorius, believed that the obligation was initially sufficient to at least answer the muster form – then many would volunteer for military service so that there would be enough personnel for them armed forces to get. However, surveys show that a clear majority of Germans are in favor of the return of military conscription, Högl said.

In the future there should be a mandatory social year for everyone, men and women. “This strengthens cohesion and is good for everyone.” Service in the Bundeswehr would be part of this. Others could complete their year of service in the social sector, climate protection, monument preservation or other areas, Högl said. However, the associated amendment to the Basic Law can no longer be achieved during this parliamentary term. Högl argued for this to be addressed very quickly in the next parliamentary term.

An announcement: This report is part of an automated service of the German Press Agency (dpa), which operates according to strict journalistic rules. It is not edited or controlled by the AZ online editors. Feel free to send questions and comments

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