Professional soldiers and the right to conscientious objection in the European Union

This publication provides an overview of the present state of the right to conscientious objection in the European Union, including the candidate countries Croatia, Turkey, and FYROM (Macedonia). This publication was produced in close co-operation with War Resisters' International (WRI). It builts on the global survey on the situation of conscientious objectors by War Resisters' International from 1998 and their update by Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA) from 2005. For this publication the survey has undergone a major update; it has been reworked and brought up to date, as the situation in many countries changed a lot since 2005.

For the first time this publication attempts to systematically also provide information on the right to conscientious objection for contract and professional soldiers. It became clear that on this issue there is a lack of information. Only five countries (Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Hungary, and Turkey) replied to a questionnaire sent by War Resisters' International to all embassies of the relevant countries in November 2007, and even those replies often were not satisfactory in relation to the information given, and did not contribute much to understanding the situation.

Produced for Tobias Pflüger MEP

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War Resisters' International
European Parliamentary Group European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL)
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