A working version of the ruling party's program for 2015 general elections indicates that the Reform Party is considering bold changes to the nation's conscription model.
The draft says that a national defense subject would become a required course at all public upper secondary schools (grades 10-12), but conscription length would be eased for draftees who have passed the subject. The program likens this to the Danish model.
Another change is that a separate national defense course running several weeks - not to be confused with the school subject - would be instituted for those who have not completed military service and are not home guard members. "Conscription would be voluntary for those who have taken the national defense exam at school and have passed the national defense courses."
The Reform Party is still associated most with liberal market principles and pro-business circles, but the program indicates the increasing emphasis on security issues, writes Eesti Päevaleht daily, which obtained the copy of the program.
"It is a separate question whether […] better theoretical training would compensate for the tactical training received in basic training," the daily wrote in a critique.
In other ideas, the Reform Party proposes a separate coast guard institution and pledges to double the size of the professional Scouts Battalion infantry companies.