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Rumours of conscription: Bulgaria, Iraq, North Korea

There are often rumours of conscription in times of political tension, or when right-wing spokespeople raise fears of the 'indiscipline of youth'. Such rumours often circulate without impact, but sometimes they are the start of a wider campaign and eventual reintroduction of compulsory military service.

La guerre est-elle nécessaire pour obtenir justice ?

Le « German Marshall Fund » des États Unis effectue une étude annuelle sur les grandes « tendances transatlantiques », dont on peut faire une lecture intéressante. Une des questions posées est : « Merci de nous dire dans quelle mesure vous êtes d'accord avec l'affirmation suivante : dans certaines circonstances, la guerre est nécessaire pour obtenir justice. » (Q29.2). Les réponses sont assez révélatrices (cf le graphique ci-dessous).

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.



  • The end of conscription in Bulgaria also meant the end of conscientious objection.

Bulgarie : fin de la conscription

Le 25 novembre 2007, les 2 413 soldat finissant leur service sont entrés dans l'histoire comme étant les derniers conscrits bulgares de l'histoire.

En 1998, l'armée bulgare comprenait 115 000 unités, ce qui était totalement inefficace au regard des difficultés économiques de l'époque.

Conscientious objection in Bulgaria - a survey

At a seminar in Plovdiv in Bulgaria, organised by Youth Society for Peace and Development on the Balkans (YSPDB) on behalf of EBCO, YSPDB presented a survey on the situation regarding conscientious objection in Bulgaria. The survey had been done in 2004, and the total sample was 1265 interviewees. Here we present some of the results:


Case of Stefanov v. Bulgaria (Application no. 32438/96)

(Friendly settlement)

3 May 2001

In the case of Stefanov v. Bulgaria,

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:

Mr G. Ress, President,
Mr A. Pastor Ridruejo,
Mr L. Caflisch,
Mr J. Makarczyk,
Mr V. Butkevych,
Mr J. Hedigan,
Mrs S. Botoucharova, judges,

and Mr V. Berger, Section Registrar,

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