The cross-party parliamentary committee has recommended that school information days on women’s military service and voluntary military service be extended to all students in the age group.
"Knowledge-based foundations for the development of the national defense relationship of young people must be created in the school system and the whole age group must be invited." the committee’s report states.
The task of the committee was to assess Finland’s current conscription model and the fulfillment of national defense obligations, and to propose changes.
"We wanted to see the summit as a strategic option, bringing together the whole age group and providing information, background and guidance to young people so that they have more knowledge and skills to fulfill their national defense responsibilities," Chairman of the Committee Ilkka Kanerva (NCP) said.
Organizing information days for the whole age group would mean about 500 events a year, with an estimated cost of around € 4 million.
The committee’s report stated that the needs of military national defense do not justify conscription for the entire age group and are not justified from the point of view of the national economy.
member of the committee Hanna Holopainen (Green) said that the committee’s proposal is a step in the right direction, but that the goal for the future must be a fully equal system.
"It should be borne in mind that the current system will only work for as long as it is acceptable, especially among young people," Holopainen said.
Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen (Cen) thanked the committee for its work and said some of the proposed reforms could be launched during the current government’s term.
"I think it is important that we make progress on this so that the reform can take place over the next few years." Kaikkonen said.
The Committee recommends a new non-combat service
Finland’s goal must be to increase the number of people starting their military service from the current level so that the number of people leaving the service decreases.
"Invitations to all is a step towards a more equal and equal model to ensure a sustainable future for the system," said a committee member Joonas Könttä (Cen).
The committee also called for consideration to be given to creating a new category of service that could allow for non-combat missions. In this way, people with diabetes could apply for the service, Könttä mentioned as an example.
The proportion of men who have completed military service has fallen from around 74 per cent to around 65 per cent in the last five years.
Every year, between 3,500 and 4,000 people stop working, and mental health problems are the reason for the suspension.
"Invitations to the whole age group provide an opportunity to look at the well-being of both young men and women and to share information that will make a positive contribution to the country’s defense," member of the committee Päivi Räsänen (CD) said.
Changes in public administration
The committee also stated that the non-combat, civilian service part of national defense obligations should be seen more clearly as based on the needs of the state and that recruitment to civilian service should be more closely linked to the country’s public security. .
"We are doing everything we can to promote this form of service, because for the first time we are opening up this opportunity to women as well," committee chairman Kanerva said.
The Left Alliance disagreed with the committee’s report because the committee did not propose a reduction in civilian service.
According to the forecast schedule in the report, the proposed reforms will enter into force in full during the next term of office or at the earliest in 2023. The final decision on the proposed changes will be made by the Board.
Source: The Nordic Page