Manfred Weber’s plan for Europe-wide conscription is an example of what’s dragging the EU into war

Manfred Weber's proposal for mandatory EU-wide conscription risks deepening the EU's involvement in the Ukraine conflict. With escalating military commitments and public opposition, this controversial plan threatens to destabilize European defense policy and sovereignty.

Manfred Weber, president of the European People’s Party (EPP), has stirred up controversy with his proposal for mandatory EU-wide conscription. This plan, if enacted, could drastically alter the European Union's defense strategy and potentially drag the continent into deeper involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Given the EPP's track record of pushing their agendas into EU policy, this plan is particularly concerning.

Weber’s idea of reinstating compulsory military service across the EU has gained traction, particularly in Germany. Recently, the CDU/CSU alliance voted to reintroduce mandatory military service once they regain power in Berlin. Weber has also suggested equipping Brussels with its own nuclear deterrence capabilities. As discussions about conscription spread across Europe, the debate has reached the EU level, with many in Brussels supporting further centralization of defense policies.

Weber has always been a strong advocate for general service in Europe, including preparing young Europeans to be immediately deployable, potentially even to frontline positions. This raises significant concerns, especially given French President Emmanuel Macron’s openness to sending European troops to Ukraine. Estonia, which never abolished conscription, is already considering sending troops into western Ukraine to support Ukrainian forces by taking over non-direct combat roles.

Although branded as Weber’s plan, it appears that French President Emmanuel Macron and his circles have influenced it significantly. As early as 2018, Macron proposed the idea of a European army under Brussels' direct control. Many elements of Weber's proposal can be traced back to Macron. The French influence is evident, yet politically sensitive statements about war have damaged Macron’s popularity, prompting the French to let the Germans champion the plan.

The introduction of compulsory conscription is expected to ignite serious debate across Europe. The vast majority of people do not want to go to war, making the proposal highly unpopular. This unpopularity is likely why the issue has been raised during the campaign period, attempting to acclimate the public to the idea. However, Weber’s plan includes sensitive elements, such as ensuring exemptions for certain groups, which likely means Brussels elites and their families will avoid conscription.

Given the EPP's history, it is not far-fetched to believe that Weber's plan could soon become EU policy. Past examples include the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms, which were heavily influenced by EPP initiatives, and the Digital Services Act (DSA), which mirrored many proposals championed by EPP members. The EPP's ability to push their policies through the European Parliament is well documented, and this conscription plan could follow the same path.

Weber's plan could entangle the EU further in the Ukraine conflict. With discussions of NATO missions in Ukraine and the deployment of European troops, the potential for escalation is real. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has previously highlighted this dangerous progression: Initially, the EU talked about sending helmets, then it progressed to military supplies, then weapons, and now the conversation has shifted to sending troops directly into the war. This alarming trend underscores the risks of deeper EU involvement.

On multiple occasions, Prime Minister Orbán emphasized the need for stability and a clear stance against war. "The more stable the Hungarian government and the clearer the Hungarian people's stance, the better our chances of staying out of the war," he said. Hungary’s position reflects broader public sentiment across Europe, where a significant majority oppose conscription and deeper military involvement.

Weber’s plan for EU-wide conscription presents a controversial and potentially destabilizing shift in European defense policy. As Europe grapples with the realities of the Ukraine conflict, the debate over mandatory military service raises fundamental questions about sovereignty, public opinion, and the future of European security.

The move towards conscription might prepare Europe for greater military engagement, but it also risks escalating conflicts and igniting public opposition. As the European Parliament elections approach, this issue will undoubtedly be a focal point of contention, shaping the future of EU defense policy and its role in global conflicts.

Manfred Weber's proposal should be critically evaluated and opposed, as it threatens to drag Europe into unwanted and dangerous military entanglements. Europe must prioritize diplomatic solutions and the voices of its citizens who overwhelmingly reject such militaristic measures.

It's becoming clearer every day: The real question of the EP elections is whether Europe will maintain peace or go to war.