Former Defence Minister against Compulsory Military Service in Croatia

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Number of opponents of possible reintroduction of compulsory military service is growing.

Croatia’s Member of European Parliament and former Defence Minister Jozo Radoš (HNS) said on Saturday that the idea to reintroduce compulsory military service in Croatia was “reckless and irresponsible”, reports Jutarnji List on February 4, 2017.

Radoš spoke at a press conference at the party headquarters and said that compulsory military service was the last thing which should be done in the changed security situation. According to him, it is necessary to strengthen the defence of the country through stronger professional army, expanded voluntary military service and increased participation in NATO and EU security mechanisms.

He pointed out that Croatia was the first country in the region which abolished the compulsory military service and was then followed by other countries. That has contributed to the reduction of tensions and increased stability in Southeast Europe. If Croatia were to reintroduce compulsory military service, other countries would do the same and that would further complicate the situation in this part of Europe. He added that the military service was abolished because it was an economic burden and disturbed the rhythm of education of young people.

Radoš is of the opinion that the idea of re​​introducing compulsory military service was brought up “not as some kind of a trial balloon, but as a sign of confusion and irresponsibility”, without agreement within the government and with the President. He said there was “great confusion within the government in this regard”. He called on the government to be more responsible and not present reckless proposals to the public on such an important issue. It should instead deal with economic issues and the commitment of young people towards education.

Asked what he thought about the reports that the compulsory military service might last for just a month, he said that at the time when he was a defence minister the military service was reduced from nine to six months, which he believes is the shortest military service that makes any sense. “Military service which would last just a month in my opinion is meaningless. That is the reason why people who present such proposals are trying to explain that young people would learn about self-protection, first aid and similar skills, but this is not the purpose of military service. That is a civil protection issue and not military”, he concluded.


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