The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, Eva Högl (SPD), spoke out against a mandatory period suggested by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier with regard to the Bundeswehr. “In view of the war in Ukraine, this is a theoretical discussion, because now the reintroduction of conscription or the introduction of compulsory service does not help,” Högl told the Evangelical Press Service on Monday. Above all, it is about making the Bundeswehr attractive overall so that well-qualified people decide to serve in the troops, she added.

At the same time, she called for the state to make more offers for voluntary services. “We know that there are more interested parties than places in the federal voluntary services,” explained Högl. There are many options on a voluntary basis “before we talk about a mandatory year for everyone”.

They advertise a service to society, Högl added. “It’s good when young people in particular get involved, for example in environmental protection, in the preservation of monuments, in the social sector and also in the Bundeswehr.”

Steinmeier had initiated a debate in the “Bild am Sonntag” about a so-called social obligation, which could be done in the Bundeswehr or in social institutions. There is a growing understanding that people are committed to community for a period of time.

“Especially now, at a time when understanding for other life plans and opinions is decreasing, a social obligation can be particularly valuable,” said the Federal President of the newspaper. In the federal government, the proposal was received with caution or rejection.