Spanish standpoint on national service

Spanish defence meeting

Spain's National Security Council meeting. Credit:

Could reintroducing national service bolster national security? The question has been raised as nations across Europe reassess their military strategies.

On Thursday, March 21, the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, chaired the meeting of the National Security Council at Moncloa Palace.

During the meeting, the situation in Ukraine, the conflict between Israel and Hamas, and the security and freedom of navigation operations in the Red Sea were discussed.

Given the precarious world situation the question of compulsory national service was asked of Margarita Robles, the Spanish Minister of Defence.

She unequivocally stated Spain’s disinterest in reinstating compulsory military service, which has become a topic of debate in various European countries.

European context and Spanish position

Robles highlighted that, unlike Denmark, which has extended its compulsory service to include women, Spain sees no need to follow suit, reported 20 Minutos.

‘I don’t think it has crossed anyone’s mind’, she remarked, dismissing the possibility of Spain revisiting conscription. This comes amidst discussions in other nations about the need for such measures due to their geographical vulnerabilities.

Furthermore, Robles pointed out the misconceptions surrounding increased defence expenditure. She argued that raising the budget is a strategic response to global threats rather than a sign of militarism.

Spain aims to meet its NATO commitment by allocating two per cent of its GDP to defence spending by 2029.

Defence, democracy, and international alliances

The minister also touched upon the future of NATO, noting its stability might hinge on political developments in the United States. Amid uncertainties, she reassured that the EU remains committed to enhancing its defence capabilities.

‘The EU has to continue betting on security and defence policies’, Robles asserted, indicating ongoing efforts to bolster the Defence industry within the bloc.

Robles concluded by reaffirming Spain’s support for Ukraine, underlining the broader fight for democratic values and sovereignty.

‘We support Ukraine not only because of its territorial integrity, but also because it represents democratic values’, she explained, voicing concerns over the threats posed by authoritarian figures like Putin.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.