CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra calls for the reintroduction of conscription. ‘The war in Ukraine shows that security, democracy and a strong society do not come for free. The service year strengthens our resilience, society and unity. That will make the Netherlands better,’ he wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Hoekstra, also Minister of Foreign Affairs, wants 200,000 young people to join the armed forces or opt for social service every year, he told The Telegraph. “They can spend six months or a year on strengthening our armed forces and national security or on a social task, such as care and welfare.”
According to him, ‘togetherness, reasonableness and the rule of law’ are currently under pressure in the Netherlands. “I see more and more polarization, also in politics. Population groups come into contact with each other less and less.” He continues: ,,I think it is completely logical that you ask young people to do something for the country. This is already happening in many other countries.”
The CDA will hold a party conference in Amersfoort on Saturday afternoon. Hoekstra will plead for his plan there. “It is time to reintroduce conscription.” Since 1997 it is no longer compulsory in the Netherlands to enter into service. An experiment with a voluntary service year is currently underway.
It is not the first time that the party has called for the reintroduction of conscription. The call for that return is also raising its head elsewhere. Publicist Sander Schimmelpenninck advocates this in his new book ‘Sander en de brug’, in which he looks for solutions to tackle the inequality gap in Dutch society.
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