By providing the possibility of being granted German citizenship quicker, without having to undergo extended procedures, Germany wants to attract more army recruits as part of its plan to have the army ready within a minimum of five years, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to Deutsche Welle, the proposal to permit citizens of foreign countries to serve in Germany’s army might soon be extended to include citizens of countries that are in Europe but are not part of the European Union.
The idea of permitting foreigners to enlist was initially proposed by the Minister of Defense of Germany, Boris Pistorius. When putting forward the idea, Minister Pistorius said that the army is dealing with a severe personnel shortage and thus suggested that foreigners’ enlistment would help the country combat this shortage.
In addition to the Minister, the Free Democratic Party and the Christian Democratic Union also supported the idea of recruiting foreign personnel. Nonetheless, an official statement on the plan still needs to be made by the authorities.
Speaking for Deutsche Welle, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, who is a member of the FDP and who at the same time chairs the defense committee of Germany, said that apart from the country recruiting candidates from European non-EU countries, she envisions the scheme to be extended beyond the continent.
According to her, initially, the country could start recruiting army personnel from countries such as the UK and then start recruiting from other countries.
I think that Europe also needs to be considered further, namely those who may live in European states but which do not yet belong to the European Union.
However, in her interview with Deutsche Welle, Strack-Zimmermann stressed that she is unable to give any further information on the matter as there are procedures that need to be followed.
In addition to the above-mentioned, Strack-Zimmermann emphasised that by allowing people of other nationalities to serve in the German army, the country would open the door for those who have been born and raised in the country but who still do not hold German citizenship.
The Minister of Defense of Germany said that the country’s army should be ready within a period of five to eight years. This means that there is pressure to introduce changes to the current law.