Germany To Recruit Non-Citizens For Military Service
Germany’s main opposition leader on Wednesday announced support for the defence minister’s proposal to allow foreign citizens to serve in the armed forces.
The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader, Friedrich Merz said he would like to discuss the proposal, which can help ease the shortage of military personnel, amid rising security challenges.
“I am open to that,” Merz told Rheinische Post newspaper, adding that he is particularly in favour of recruiting European Union’s citizens for the German armed forces, also known as the Bundeswehr.
Last week, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius put forward the idea of recruiting immigrants and non-citizens for military service, as the Bundeswehr faces a dramatic shortage of personnel.
“We would not be the first armed forces in Europe to do this. There are people in our country who are the second or third generation (migrants) but do not yet have German citizenship,” According to an exclusive interview with Tagesspiegel newspaper.
Pistorius noted that the Defense Ministry experts were working on a proposal on this matter.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition government abandoned the country’s cautious defense policy after Russia’s war on Ukraine, and announced ambitious plans to modernize its armed forces.
Defense Minister Pistorius has repeatedly said that Germany has “about five to eight years” to be “fit for war” again and deter threats to Europe.