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Conscientious objection: Legal practices and frameworks among EU member states

In this presentation I will give an overview of the right to conscientious objection, its legal practices and frameworks in the 27 European Union member states. Before I do so, I want to step back a bit and have a brief look at the existing international standards about the right to conscientious objection, as these standards allow us to put the practices in the EU member states into a perspective.



  • Luxembourg does not recognise the right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers.

Military recruitment


Conscription was abolished in 19671.

Conscription is not enshrined in the 1868 Constitution2.

Professional soldiers

To fulfil its NATO obligations Luxembourg has a small armed force of volunteers.

Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee: Luxembourg

15 April 2003


7. The Committee notes, on the one hand, that the State party grants financial assistance to the Christian and Jewish communities only and, on the other hand, that the criteria (such as membership of a religion recognized worldwide and officially in at least one European Union country) may give rise to problems as far as their compatibility with the provisions of articles 18, 26 and 27 of the Covenant is concerned.

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