Sweden’s farewell to conscription
Archived Articles 26 Jul 2009  EWR
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Tomas Jermalavicius, ICDS (Rahvusvaheline Kaitseuuringute Keskus)

Last week, the Swedish parliament narrowly (153 votes in favour, 150 against) voted to pass a bill drafted by the government which suspends conscription to the Swedish Armed Forces. More than a century-old institution of universal duty to do military service for the Swedish state was put on a shelf and will be brought back to life only in a case of national defence emergency and when military preparedness requires it. If it happens, it will also be gender-neutral: that is, all men and women of suitable age and health will be drafted. But, for now, national defence duty will be done strictly on a voluntary basis, and the Swedish Armed Forces will switch to the all-volunteer force (AVF) format.

...//the Swedish decision merits some closer scrutiny, not least because it leaves such stalwart supporters of conscription in our region as Finland and Estonia in a somewhat awkward position...//

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