ZAGREB, March 22 , 2018 – The Centre for Peace Studies (CMS) on Thursday called on lawmakers not to adopt the proposed amendments to the defence law and the law on military service, claiming that the amendments would constitute “a dangerous precedent” of introducing a new form of conscription through the term “military training”.
This NGO says that despite the suspension of conscription in 2007, the new amendments will make it possible for the authorities to summon all citizens above 27, who have not served in the army, to undergo “military training” under the guise of “the development of the security culture of citizens”.
The civil society association finds this to be one more step towards the further militarisation of society, which it says has already assumed “worrisome proportions” for the last 12 months.
The CMS criticises Defence Minister Damir Krstičević for publicly speaking of synergy and better coordination of stakeholders in the field of public security while marginalising civilian institutions in charge of the security of citizens.
In this context, the NGO also holds that the engagement of the army in efforts to protect towns and villages facing floods due to swollen rivers has been disproportionately emphasised in comparison to the engagement of other civilian institutions.