The Lisbon Treaty allows for civilians to be conscripted into military and other forms of service in the Syrian conflict.

Zeno Fratton, a high school student from Italy, analyses the relevant clauses.

The controversial Lisbon Treaty was pushed through without a referendum or public debate in the UK and in all EU states, apart from Ireland. Unknown to most people, it contains provisions to conscript civilians into compulsory service in the event that the European Council decides conscription this necessary for Europe s common security.

The threat of compulsory military or other forms service for all civilians in Europe, both men and women, came one step closer following French President Francois Hollande’s request for joint EU action on airstrikes in Syria invoking a mutual defense clause in the Lisbon Treaty after the Paris “terror attacks.

The terms of a civilian involvement are not defined in the Treaty, allowing for the conscription of men and women of all ages and for their deployment in virtually any capacity both as combatants in a war zone or as part of a civilian labour force.

The full text of the consolidated version of the treaty on European Union can be read here:

The relevant points are:

Point 3 of Article 42 of Section 2 “Provisions on the common security and defence policy” states that “Member States shall make civilian and military capabilities available to the Union for the implementation of the common security and defence policy, to contribute to the objectives defined by the Council. Those Member States which together establish multinational forces may also make them available to the common security and defence policy.”

This means that civilians might be forced to do military service if the European Council says it is necessary for the common security. And since the terms of a civilian involvement are not defined, civil people might even be sent to Syria or other war zones.

Point 3 goes on stating that “Member States shall undertake progressively to improve their military capabilities. The Agency in the field of defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments (hereinafter referred to as ‘the European Defence Agency’) shall identify operational requirements, shall promote measures to satisfy those requirements, shall contribute to identifying and, where appropriate, implementing any measure needed to strengthen the industrial and technological base of the defence sector, shall participate in defining a European capabilities and armaments policy, and shall assist the Council in evaluating the improvement of military capabilities.”

This article encourages EU member states to spend ever larger amounts of public money on military equipment, ensuring vast profits for the military industrial complex.

Point 7 of the same section says: “If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power, in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. This shall not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States.”

This point was invoked by Hollande when he requested a common European operation in Syria after the Paris “terror attacks” .

Point 1 of Article 43 underlines the hypocrisy of western countries: The tasks referred to in Article 42(1), in the course of which the Union may use civilian and military means, shall include joint disarmament operations, humanitarian and rescue tasks, military advice and assistance tasks, conflict prevention and peace-keeping tasks, tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peace-making and post-conflict stabilisation. All these tasks may contribute to the fight against terrorism, including by supporting third countries in combating terrorism in their territories.”

It is interesting to note that while European member states are encouraged to to arm themselves to the teeth, on the on hand, but to disarm other countries on the other.

Note During the Second World War, men and women were conscripted for military and civilian labour service across Europe. In Nazi Germany, the age of conscription was extended from about 7 years old to 90 years old by the end of the war.


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