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Military conscription under consideration in the Netherlands: Report

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The Ministry of Defense is considering military conscription to combat the shortage of soldiers, De Telegraaf reports. About a quarter of the Dutch military positions are currently unfilled. That’s a shortage of about 9,000 soldiers, according to the newspaper.

State Secretary Christophe van der Maat (Defense) wants to increase enthusiasm for the armed forces through a type of conscription. He is looking particularly at how Sweden and Norway recruit candidates for their militaries.

Since 2018, Sweden has selected 4,000 young people every year to voluntarily join the army. They receive basic training for 11 months, after which they remain on call. Norway uses a survey to determine which 18-year-olds are motivated to serve and then recruits 7,500 soldiers from them per year. 

According to the Telegraaf, the Dutch Ministry of Defense is particularly enthusiastic about the Swedish model, which offers young people an idea of career opportunities within the armed forces.

Minister Kajsa Ollongren of Denfese previously told OP1 that she is not an outspoken supporter of active conscription, but she does want to “see how we can make it more attractive for young people to study and work at Defense for a few years.”

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