Sweden said Wednesday it would reintroduce compulsory military service from 2018, eight years after it was abolished.
The Scandinavian nation, which has not seen armed conflict on its territory in two centuries, ended conscription in 2010 after it was deemed an unsatisfactory way of meeting the needs of a modern army.
“I hope that we are going to find a path to a more stable, robust and functional means of recruitment,” Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told a news conference.
The new policy will affect Swedes born after 1999, according to a report by a former member of parliament for the defence ministry.
The measure is expected to be adopted by parliament, subject to agreement between the leftist government and the centre right opposition.
Around 4,000 young Swedes, 18-year-olds of both sexes, are expected to be called up each year.
The move was “an intelligent proposal given that we have seen for a number of years now that volunteers are not sufficient to supply either the quality or quantity of soldiers” needed, Johan Osterberg, a researcher from the School for Advanced Defence Studies, told news agency TT.
Sweden is not a NATO member but has signed the body’s Partnership for Peace programme launched in 1994 to develop military cooperation between NATO and non-member countries.