08 August 2018

Romania Unlikely To Reinstate Mandatory Military Service, Says Defense Minister

Ionut Jifcu

Romania’s Defense Minister Mihai Fifor said on Wednesday that there have been no cabinet discussion regarding the reinstatement of mandatory military service in the country, deeming it “unlikely for the moment”.

Fifor clarified upon previous comments he made in which he stated that mandatory military service was not annulled, but suspended in the country since 2005.

“Let’s explain this as clearly as possible. It is unlikely to discuss reinstating mandatory military service in Romania at this moment, for various reasons. Yesterday I said that the mandatory military service was not annulled, but only suspended. That is the law and that is where we stand. As I said, we are not thinking about reinstating the mandatory military service, we are not doing this, it was not discussed in the government, it was not discussed politically anywhere,” Fifor said at an event in Craiova.

Despite this, the Romanian Defense Minister pointed out the fact that multiple NATO member states have recently decided to reinstate mandatory military service.

“It is normal when you discuss the idea of creating a foundation for the Romanian Army to tackle these kinds of subjects, even more as, around us, there are countries which have reinstated it. The most recent example is that of Sweden, which has just reinstated the mandatory military service,” the minister added.

Fifor did announce, however, that Romania’s National Defense Ministry is planning a reform of its Voluntary Reservists Program as a way to bring personnel into the Army. According to him, the changes would concentrate on the financial aspect, which will be made more attractive for potential volunteers.

The Defense Minister also pointed out that more than 8,000 employees left the military in 2017, with the Government hoping to occupy at least 6,000 of those vacancies by the end of this year.

Military service in Romania is currently mandatory only in the case of war, general mobilization or state of emergency.