Fact Check: NO Compulsory Military Service in Romania

Fact Check

  • de: Jurnaliștii Lead Stories
Fact Check: NO Compulsory Military Service in Romania No Conscription

Did the Prime Minister of Romania announce that military service will become compulsory? No, that's not true: during a speech about state resilience, Romanian Prime Minister, Nicolae Ciucă, highlighted the importance of revising defense plans given the current security context, saying that small, technologically advanced armies, must return to "mass armies." He did not announce plans to reintroduce compulsory military service.

The claim originated from a video published by TikTok user @sevmark.00123 (archived here) on May 20, 2023, with the following caption (translated from Romanian to English by Lead Stories staff):

Romania, May 20, 2023: Military service will become compulsory. They are desperate, because they don't have any soldiers left to send to Ukraine.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-05-24 at 10.56.31.png

On May 18th, Romanian Prime Minister, Nicolae Ciucă, took part in the Black Sea and Security Forum at the New Strategy Centre, a security think tank in Bucharest. During a panel on increasing state resilience in this tense security context, Ciucă highlighted the importance of revising defense plans in the context of a "power like Russia heading for a war of attrition."

He stated that "on the drawing board is the construct of the defense industry, which must become a war industry and small, technologically sophisticated, professional armies, which must return to mass armies, with reserves at the level of the whole society and extensive mobilization capabilities to make facing a large-scale war, a long and high-intensity war that exhausts the resources, not only of the country in conflict but also of the countries of Europe."

Even though he made reference to the need for an expansion of the military structure and a return to "mass armies," a pool of reservists so that Romania can be prepared to fight a war of attrition or an invasion, Ciucă did not mention the words compulsory military service during his speech and he did not make any explicit references to suggest that this may be the case. Furthermore, the speech does not relate to sending Romanian recruits into Ukraine (NATO troops do not have boots on the ground in Ukraine), but it is aimed at enhancing and growing Romania's military population, in case of future events. During the 22nd of May and the 30th of June, Romania's Ministry of Defence is running a recruitment campaign. Citizens who want to join the Army as voluntary reservists will receive monthly salaries, based on rank. Compulsory military service has been suspended in Romania since in 2007.

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