According to a new program put together by the Ministry of the Interior, young men who are medically unfit for Estonia’s compulsory military service would spend 12 to 14 months in alternative civilian service.
The model, already in use in Switzerland, Norway, and Israel, has the aim to create a sufficient basis of specialists for crisis times in areas other than that of national defense, daily Postimees wrote on Monday.
The proposed alternative civilian service would take 12 to 14 months, which is longer than the eight to 11 months usually spent in basic training for compulsory military service. This is due to the fact that different from military recruits, who spend all of their service time in military barracks, anyone in civilian service only has to work in their designated capacity for 40 hours a week.
Like plenty of other countries that still demand compulsory military service, Estonia is looking at shrinking numbers of recruits. While just after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Estonia’s regained independence, some 13,000 young mean a year entered military service, this number has gone down to 6,000 to 7,000 eligible men, of which fewer than 2,000 eventually pass the whole duration of military training.
Though the Ministry of Defence wants to increase the number of personnel in compulsory service to 4,000 by 2023, some 3,000 to 4,000 men eventually aren’t drafted for a variety of reasons.
Editor: Dario Cavegn